Some links to products and partners on this website will earn an affiliate commission.
Has the spectre of Ryanair long haul travel finally descended upon us?
Even as a bit of a (not so) secret low cost carrier ‘fan man’ these days, I’m not sure my instinctive reaction to the question above could be described as entirely positive. Fortunately, the story is a little more complex.
Despite making noises about long-haul flights for a long time now, Ryanair has been well and truly beaten to that market by Norwegian and Wowair, particularly when it comes to cheap travel between Europe and the USA. Rather than jumping in directly themselves, what Ryanair has actually announced today is simply a partnership with Air Europa.
This is an interesting development in itself of course though and has the potential to be valuable to both airlines – linking Air Europa to dozens more cities throughout Europe, and allowing Ryanair customers the novelty of booking a flight to the USA (and elsewhere) on the Ryanair website.
They might want to keep an eye on the prices though – I don’t think there’s a particularly desperate clamour for £870 flights on ‘low cost’ Air Europa between New York and Madrid, for example.
You can check out the Press Releases and statements from the CEOs on the partnership below:
Ryanair Press Release
Ryanair, Spain’s No.1 airline, today (23 May) announced a new flight partnership with Air Europa, which will allow its 130m customers to book Air Europa long haul flights on the Ryanair.com website. From today, customers can browse and book Air Europa flights on 20 long haul routes from Madrid to 16 countries in North, Central and South America, including Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico and the United States.
This new Air Europa partnership is the latest initiative delivered under Year 4 of Ryanair’s “Always Getting Better” customer experience programme, and follows the launch of Ryanair’s connecting flight service via Rome Fiumicino last week.
The second phase of this Air Europa partnership will be launched later this year and will allow Ryanair customers to connect onto Air Europa long haul flights through Madrid. Ryanair is continuing its discussions with a number of other long haul airlines on potential feed and connecting flight partnerships.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said:
“We are pleased to announce this exciting partnership with Air Europa, which allows our customers to browse and book flights on 20 long routes from Madrid to exciting cities in Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico and the USA on the Ryanair.com website. Ryanair operates over 50 short haul routes to/from Madrid and now our customers can book flights on Air Europa long haul routes to destinations including Buenos Aires, Havana and New York.
This partnership is the latest AGB enhancement as we continue our journey to becoming the ‘Amazon of travel.’ We continue to speak to a number of other long haul airlines about potential connecting flight partnerships and we look forward to offering our 130m customers an even greater choice and range of long haul services in 2018.”
Globalia Group CEO, Javier Hidalgo said:
“This partnership with Ryanair gives us great satisfaction, and it puts us at the forefront of business and allows us to strengthen our competitiveness. With this agreement Air Europa doubles its connectivity with the European continent adding 53 European cities.
This agreement consolidates Air Europa, the only regular airline with 100% Spanish capital, as the best price-quality option to fly between Europe and America. I am also happy to announce that in 2020 Air Europa will have the most modern and efficient fleet of the market operating between both continents.”
Ryanair Long Haul Bottom line
I think the most interesting part of the commentary there is that the focus seems to be on more partnerships with other low cost long haul airlines rather than Ryanair long haul flights being launched on their own planes any time soon.
Connecting low cost traffic in this way makes a lot of sense in theory, now we’ll see how it works out in practice!