Monday, January 12, 2009
RYANAIR has held talks with representatives from Niagara Falls Airport with a view to launching a direct transatlantic service from Dublin to the tourist spot.
The budget airline has previously said it is anxious to operate international services for as little as €10.
The talks with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) took place at Dublin Airport last Friday, according to a Ryanair spokesperson.
She could not confirm what was said at the meeting but added it took place at the request of the NFTA.
It is understood this is the second time the NFTA has looked at services between Niagara Falls Airport and Ireland.
In 2007, it began discussions with Kenny Tours, a Maryland-based travel company about flights to Shannon Airport.
Kenny at the time predicted the Niagara Falls/Ireland connection would be a big hit and anticipated strong demand from Irish tourists to visit Niagara Falls.
However, the company was reportedly unable to secure aircraft to operate the connection.
Speaking after the meeting with Ryanair last week, NFTA chairman Gregory Stamm said: "We’ve got our fingers crossed because they are a big player over there and landing them would open a lot of doors for us.
"There’s no question there’s a market on both ends for these charters. It’s more a matter of how this would fit into Ryanair’s expansion plans," he said.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has said he is looking for planes to operate transatlantic services.
He said the transatlantic service would be run by a separate company to Ryanair, though he is likely take a big interest in it.
The new carrier would need between 50 to 60 long-haul planes, which would be based at up to 10 European airports, including Dublin and London.
The NFTA has marketed the Niagara Falls airport as a prime secondary landing target with easy access to all of Western New York and Southern Ontario.
It is airports such as these that Ryanair would look to operate from in the US.