If you’ve always wanted to travel to Europe but couldn’t afford to pony up the cash for an airline ticket, listen up: super-cheap Irish carrier Ryanair plans to offer flights between the United States and Europe with fares starting as low as $11. (That’s not a typo.)
That’s the good news. The bad news is those ultra-cheap transatlantic flights could be four to five years out.
Ryanair’s board recently approved plans for flights between 14 European cities and 14 U.S. cities, including New York, Boston, Chicago and Miami, as well as London, Dublin and Berlin, The Guardian reports.
The transatlantic flights are contingent upon Ryanair securing a deal to purchase long-haul aircraft. If such a deal materializes, Ryanair could start services in four or five years’ time, The Guardian said.
“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 company said in a statement.
“Though some subsidized promotional fares would cost £10 [$10.59], other one-way tickets would be priced at £99 [$104.75] or more, and the airline would fill up to half its jets with more expensive premium seats,” The Financial Times said.
It’s difficult to offer ultra-cheap fares on transatlantic flights and still make a profit. Some airlines, like Sir Freddie Laker’s Skytrain, have gone broke trying to offer discount transatlantic service, the FT noted. But Ryanair could break the mold.
Aviation analyst John Strickland told the FT:
Ryanair is well equipped to do this, in the sense that it has the pan-European market presence and critical mass needed. The key issues will be to obtain the right aircraft at the right cost and in sufficient numbers, along with offering some type of premium product.
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