Reports in the media had indicated that, by 2020, the Michael O’Leary-fronted airline would be in a position to provide cheap transatlantic flights worth $15 before taxes.
However, in a very short and curt response to the stock market, a statement read: “In the light of recent press coverage, the noard of Ryanair Holdings Plc wishes to clarify that it has not considered or approved any transatlantic project and does not intend to do so.”
Publications including The Guardian, Forbes and the Daily Mail had reported the airline had plans to extend its flight offering to North America for as little as £10, “as part of an ambitious five-year growth strategy”.
Rather than make the decision to begin flying across the Atlantic, Ryanair’s two newest destination additions are closer to home in the form of Castellon and Ponta Delgada.
Speaking on 11 March, Ryanair CMO Kenny Jacobs said: “Ryanair will continue to connect London with Europe’s key centres of business, with more flights and improved schedules to and from major cities including Berlin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Madrid, Milan, Prague, Rome and Warsaw, making Ryanair the ideal choice for business customers, and reaffirming Stansted as the gateway to London, with more European connections than any other London airport.”
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Speculation about the airline, which has experienced varying degrees of growth in the period after the global recession, had indicated that it was in the process of purchasing long-haul aircraft. Route designations were reported to include New York, Boston, Chicago and Miami – all from London Stansted, Dublin and Berlin.
Having been established out of Tony Ryan’s Guinness Peat Aviation, itself set up in 1974, in 1985, Ryanair appointed Michael O’Leary as chief executive in 1993. It now operates in excess of 1,600 daily flights from 72 bases.
A third-quarter loss in spring 2014 was said to to reveal to O’Leary that customers were “beginning to tire of the airline’s antics and service” and moving to rival easyJet instead.
In response, Ryanair launched its Always Getting Better programme – promising allocated seating and family discounts. This brought about a return to profit and passenger growth. In February, Ryanair revealed third quarter profits of €49m, compared to a €35m loss in the same period the previous year.
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