Ryanair & North America - is it happening imminently?

Discussion in 'Budget bargains' started by Copywriter_Ben, May 27, 2017.

  1. Copywriter_Ben

    Copywriter_Ben New Member

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    Just playing with the Ryanair mobile website this morning trying to plan a surprise budget break and I discovered Havana and New York (JFK) in the destination list. You can't select a flight, or connecting destination yet, but these North American airports do exist, and appear on the map too.

    Is there an announcement of budget trans-Atlantic flights imminent?
     
  2. Copywriter_Ben

    Copywriter_Ben New Member

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    Just checked further and Miami and Boston are listed, as are some destinations in Central and South America, including Sao Paolo...
     
  3. FlyingPiggie

    FlyingPiggie Active Member

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  4. Copywriter_Ben

    Copywriter_Ben New Member

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    Ah, that makes sense, thanks FlyingPiggie

    Shame they're not able to get their own licences and agreements in place for US flights.
     
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  5. JoeD

    JoeD Active Member

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    Yeh, would definitely be good to see them doing that. I imagine they could get it sorted if they wanted to, but have decided it doesn't make sense (yet). Waiting to see what happens to WOW/Norwegian if/when oil prices rise might be a prudent move in the long run.
     
  6. FlyingPiggie

    FlyingPiggie Active Member

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    I think that Ryanair has simply missed their window of opportunity. There are surely only a limited number of people willing to go transatlantic in extreme discomfort to random, out of the way airports...

    P.S. Norwegian would do well out of oil price rises, because of their 787s. Cheap oil would be the challenge, where the legacy carriers can fly just about anything they have parked in the desert and make money...
     
  7. JoeD

    JoeD Active Member

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    You've hit the nail on the head in terms of the premises but I reach a different conclusion.

    The market is technically limited (of course), but actually massively elastic - the reason being that these routes are going to be overwhelmingly filled with discretionary leisure travel, due to the relative lack of comfort and inconvenient airports, as you say.

    What that suggests to me is that these routes are much more price sensitive than traditional routes. Yes, Norwegian have relatively fuel efficient aircraft, but that only helps them so much. If fuel prices go up, BA can still fill planes between London and New York (etc) at pretty much any price - a lot of people still need to travel on those routes.

    By contrast, very few people really need to fly between Belfast and Hartford (or whatever). If it's only a couple of hundred quid though, they might fancy a long weekend, or decide to squeeze in another holiday they wouldn't otherwise do. Norwegian needs the planes to be pretty full, and that means the maximum average per passenger price has to stay low. I don't know what the ceiling is for that, but I don't think it's going to be very high at all.

    It's also worth pointing out that given how low Norwegian fares are, fuel must make up a very significant percentage of the total (perhaps even higher than BA etc in percentage terms), even though they have a more efficient fleet.

    Basically, I think these routes are only really viable due to very low fares, and very low fares are only possible thanks to a combination of low fuel prices and more fuel efficient aircraft.

    If we assume fuel prices stay low, then I think the potential market is pretty big:

    Is the comfort much worse than legacy Economy products these days? Not really.

    Flying from the regions also means that inconvenience at the destination is made up for by the convenience of being able to fly from your local airport.

    You also have the possibility of deliberately long thin routes serving third tier cities with direct flight from the UK.

    So, if the price is right, the market is substantial. If fares go up, I don't think there's much of a market at all.

    I do wonder why Ryanair hasn't dipped its toe in though - no huge risk for them in trying a couple of prime routes.
     
  8. FlyingPiggie

    FlyingPiggie Active Member

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    Yep, highly price sensitive... it's also true (albeit with no evidence to back me up), that a LCC is potentially giving up half of its market by flying to/from "the regions" as I can't really see too many Americans wanting to fly to Belfast, Manchester, LBA or Charleroi when they have flights to Gatwick, Barcelona, etc. from other LCCs, not to mention a bunch of legacy carriers flying to all the tourist hotspots in Europe.

    In Europe, however, you have the notional Polish plumbers and Erasmus students flying both directions, not just Brits flying a LCC to the summer sun...
     

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