Not So Fast: Ryanair Denies Approving Discount Transatlantic Flights

Greg Keraghosian
·Associate Travel Editor

(Photo: Ryanair)

Ryanair’s plans to make history by offering transatlantic flights between the U.S. and Europe for under $15 are apparently being called back to the gate. The airline issued a brief statement Thursday denying that such flights are going to be offered in coming years.

The one-sentence statement reads, “In the light of recent press coverage, the Board of Ryanair Holdings Plc wishes to clarify that it has not considered or approved any transatlantic project and does not intend to do so. “

What this means, and whether Ryanair truly intended to offer transatlantic flights is anyone’s guess, but airline expert Joe Brancatelli says we should have taken the airline’s earlier statements with a huge grain of salt.

“Ryanair has a history of making bulls**t announcements,” he told Yahoo Travel in an email. Ryanair CEO “Michael O'Leary every couple of months would claim he was about to do paid toilets. Ryanair does this stuff to get publicity. More shame on the reporters who take anything Ryanair SAYS seriously. The only thing you can take seriously about Ryanair is what they DO.”

News outlets were buzzing Monday with reports that the board for Europe’s largest discount airline had approved plans to operate flights to such U.S. destinations as New York, Chicago, and Boston, and a spokesman for Dublin, Ireland-based Ryanair said proposals included one-way transatlantic fares starting at £10, or $14.78.

“The board of Ryanair, like any PLC, have approved the business plans for future growth, including transatlantic,” a Ryanair spokesperson had told Skift earlier this week. “We are talking to manufacturers about long-haul aircraft but can’t comment further on this. European consumers want lower cost travel to the USA and the same for Americans coming to Europe. We see it as a logical development in the European market.”

The spokesperson had added, “We would like to offer low cost flights between 12-14 European cities and 12-14 U.S. cities. The business plan is there but it’s dependent on attaining viable long haul aircraft and we estimate that’s four to five years away.”

Ryanair has recently been looking to court U.S. travelers by revamping its website to show fares in American dollars.

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