Europe's biggest discount airline has confirmed it will begin flights to – and within – the United States and sell some seats for as low as $15.
Ryanair announced that it will fly passengers between up to 14 U.S. cities and the same amount of European locations. However, the plan could take around five years to become a reality.
"The board of Ryanair have approved the business plans for future growth, including trans-Atlantic," the Irish carrier company said in a statement as quoted by Ireland's RTE News. "European consumers want lower cost travel to the U.S. and the same for Americans coming to Europe. We see it as a logical development in the European market."
Michael O’Leary, the chief executive of the Irish carrier, previously discussed the possibility of transatlantic flights at the Irish Hotels Federation conference last year in February:
“We’ve had a business plan ready to roll for a transatlantic, low-fares airline. The difficulty is, I keep cautioning, is that there’s no availability of long-haul aircraft for another four or five years.”
While the offer of cheap tickets would seem attractive, passengers will have to pay extra for services from meals to baggage.
“We can make money on 99 cent fares in Europe,” O’Leary stated in an interview in September. “Not every seat will be $13 of course; there will also need to be a very high number of business or premium seats. There is 15 percent of the public who will pay for the frills and you will be mad to switch off from that.”
Ryanair’s U.S. destinations would include Boston, Chicago, Florida, Miami, New York and Washington.