go to content

Ryanair Retracts Plans To Offer Low-Cost Flights Between Europe And The U.S.

The Irish airline initially said it will connect Europe to major U.S. cities such as New York City, Chicago, and Boston.

Posted on

A few days after Ryanair confirmed its ambition to start flying from Europe to the United States, the company's board issued a statement to the London Stock Exchange saying it "has not considered or approved any transatlantic project and does not intent to do so."

Ryanair's spokesperson directed BuzzFeed News to a Financial Times article where chief executive Michael O’Leary said Ryanair "fucked up. It was a communication."

O'Leary also said that no one was around to clarify the initial report on Tuesday because it was St. Patrick's Day.

Transatlantic flights may be about to get a lot cheaper.

Ryanair, notorious in Europe for its inexpensive flights, approved a business plan that would expand the airline's routes to as many as 14 cities in the United States.

"We are talking to manufacturers about long-haul aircraft but can't comment further on this," the company said in a statement.

Destinations in the U.S. will include New York City, Chicago, Boston, and Miami, with flights departing from Dublin, Berlin, and London's Stansted airport.

The expansion isn't likely to happen for another four or five years, but the airline has indicated it will provide fares as low as $21 one-way — though most fares will be higher.

"European consumers want lower cost travel to the USA and the same for Americans coming to Europe," the company said in a statement. "We see it as a logical development in the European market."

Other low-cost airlines have attempted transatlantic flights, but ultimately failed to sustain the service.

Norwegian Air Shuttle began flying from London's Gatwick airport to New York in 2013, but the company is now struggling financially, according to The Guardian.

Despite past failures from competitors, Ryanair's head of marketing, Kenny Jacobs, told the Financial Times he was confident the airline can be successful in implementing transatlantic flights.

"We've seen what others have done, we've listened and observed what's gone on in the past 12 months, and now have a better view on how we'd like to launch it and market it," Jacobs said.

Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Mary Ann Georgantopoulos at maryann.georgantopoulos@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.