New York to London for $12? Ryanair to launch budget transatlantic airline
Last Updated: Friday, April 13, 2007 | 2:23 PM ET
Budget airline Ryanair is aiming to send travellers from Europe to North America for as little as $12 US, the chief executive of the Dublin-based company has announced.
Michael O'Leary told reporters on Thursday he plans on acquiring as many as 50 long-haul aircraft over the next three or four years for a new transatlantic airline. O'Leary said a few airports in the U.S. have contacted the company about the possibility of launching a new airline.
British Airways is one of four airlines permitted to fly from London's Heathrow airport to the U.S. This major route accounts for about a third of all EU flights to the U.S.
(Steve Parsons/Associated Press)
Last month, the European Union and the U.S. agreed to a new Open Skies deal that will open up previously restricted routes by March 2008. Under the new agreement, airlines will be able to fly from anywhere in the EU to anywhere in the U.S.
Current restrictions only allow British Airways PLC, Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd., AMR Corp.'s American Airlines and UAL Corp.'s United Airlines to fly from London's Heathrow airport to the U.S. This major route accounts for about a third of all EU flights to the U.S.
O'Leary said his new airline might service cities including New York, Dallas and San Francisco from Ryanair bases in London Stansted, Dublin and Germany's Frankfurt-Hahn.
Zoom launches transatlantic service
Separately, Ottawa-based Zoom Airlines, which works with a U.K.-based sister company, Zoom Airlines Ltd., also announced this week it was planning on launching service between London and New York with fares starting from £129, approximately $290 Cdn. The company announced it will begin flying between London's Gatwick airport and New York's JFK on June 21.
"You cannot put a sheaf of paper between the prices charged by BA, Virgin and the American carriers on the New York route and it is high time that passengers had a better deal," said Zoom owner John Boyle in a release.
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