In the first stage of the co-operation, Ryanair customers can book Air Europa tickets to 20 cities in the Americas via the Dublin-based carrier’s website, the company said.
The second phase will include connections between Ryanair’s flights to Madrid and Air Europa’s longhaul destinations, bringing the no-frills specialist’s strategy closer to network rivals.
Ryanair is tapping its dense European network with an eye to supplanting its legacy competitors’ often unprofitable shorthaul operations designed to feed passengers to more lucrative long-distance routes.
The Air Europa deal link-up similar agreements with Aer Lingus and Norwegian Air Shuttle. An increasing share of Ryanair’s passenger growth in the coming years will be from feeder deals, chief executive Michael O’Leary has said.
The airline expects to carry 200m passengers by 2024 compared with 117m last year, with about 10% of that expansion is likely to derive from these types of partnerships.
In addition to offering Aer Lingus and Norwegian connections at Dublin airport by this summer, Ryanair has said that it could operate feed arrangements with Alitalia, Lufthansa, and Portugal’s Tap.
Air Europa, based in Mallorca, is Spain’s third-biggest airline after Iberia and Vueling. It is a member of the SkyTeam alliance with Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM. Ryanair last week formally started offering passengers connecting flights on its own network at Rome’s Fiumicino airport.