O’Leary delays long-haul airline plan

THERE will be no Ryanair-related long-haul airline for at least four to five years.

This is according to Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary, who said that given the backlog in orders for long-haul aircraft a low-cost transatlantic service will not be possible for the next few years at least.

Speculation has grown regarding the establishment of a long-haul Ryanair-type service since Mr O’Leary announced plans for it three years ago.

He said at the time that a low-fares transatlantic carrier would be a “retirement project” for him.

He also said that the airline would offer flights from Europe to the US from as little as €10.

Meanwhile, Mr O’Leary also said he believes the Irish Government would give away its 25% stake in Aer Lingus to “anybody but Ryanair”.

And in response to Aer Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller saying Ryanair’s near-30% stakeholding in the former national airline is like a poison pill, Mr O’Leary said this makes no sense because it does not prevent anybody buying a stake in Aer Lingus.

“We clearly have no control over Aer Lingus. I think Christoph Mueller, to be fair to him, has an impossible task trying to run an airline that is run by government bureaucrats,” he said.

“I don’t pay too much attention to what Aer Lingus chief executives said because they generally don’t be around for too long,” he said.

Mr O’Leary stressed that Ryanair had no control over Aer Lingus.


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