Ryanair has the plan – but not the aircraft

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP March 17, 2015 21:11

Ryanair has the plan – but not the aircraft

So the Ryanair board has finally agreed in principle that they should take on long-haul. Ryanair is studying plans to fly between various European and US cities within the next five years and although some promotional fares would cost £10, other one-way tickets would be priced well above this. The aircraft would also be branded differently from Ryanair and would have premium seats.

“The board of Ryanair, like any plc, has approved the business plans for future growth, including transatlantic. We are talking to manufacturers about long-haul aircraft,” the airline said.

The venture would have 10 European bases, including at London’s Stansted airport, Dublin, Cologne and Berlin, plus others in Spain, Italy and Scandinavia. Flights would connect between 12 and 14 European cities with US destinations including Boston, Chicago, Florida, Miami, New York and Washington.

Ryanair’s transatlantic service would not be branded under the company name.

So Ryanair plans to blitz IAG and take-over the Atlantic in the long term, and, given the massive breadth of the current Ryanair network feeding these transatlantic flights, this should not be much of a problem. One question however is how on earth Ryanair will be able to launch any time soon given the order backlog of the 787 and A350?

Given the fact that Ryanair to date has not been a huge proponent of leasing aircraft, the answer could well be that it is considering A330Neos. That would be the logical step. I am sure that if Boeing had a similar aircraft on the go at the moment then it would be a no brainer for Ryanair. Alternatively the airline might want to take a look at the mid-life 777-300ER market, which is starting to churn out some very good offers for an aircraft that is still at the top of its game. But Ryanair would not want to take-on anything that has additional space/weight for cargo and thus a lean mean, low-cost machine is what they really require for such a venture and thus getting some 787 or A350 delivery slots must be the number one concern alongside the A330Neo option post regulatory approvals for the expansion.

IAG will be hit hardest by any such Ryanair venture and purchasing Aer Lingus would place it in the heart of the storm. Dare I say that the Aer Lingus purchase by IAG could be a wrong move if Ryanair is going to mount such an attack on the Atlantic? IAG might well argue that in order to compete with Ryanair it needs to have a foothold in Dublin.

Meanwhile, in another sign that airlines in Russia are contracting fast, Ural Airlines has this week requested financial help from the Kremlin to the tune of Rub2bn (US$33m). Ural joins UTair and Transaero and Aeroflot in receiving state aid. Although the latter has not requested any sort of direct assistance, it is likely that the state is funding aspects of its operations.  Ural Airlines operates a fleet of 18 Airbus A320s, 10 A321s and six A319s.

Happy St Patrick’s Day to all of our Irish readers!

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP March 17, 2015 21:11