by Michael J. Shapiro | March 18, 2015
The board of Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair has approved transatlantic flights, according to a public statement, and would like to debut U.S.-European routes within the next four to five years. "We are talking to manufacturers about long-haul aircraft but cannot comment further on this," read the statement. "European consumers want lower-cost travel to the U.S.A. and the same for Americans coming to Europe. We see it as a logical development in the European market." Promotional fares could be as low as 10 British pounds (currently US$14.75), and among the 14 intended U.S. destinations would be Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York and Washington, D.C. 

Business Travel Coalition founder Kevin Mitchell expects U.S. airlines to fight Ryanair's entry to the market. "Unfortunately, some U.S. carriers are following a well-worn anticompetitive route in which powerful incumbents seek to lock out independent airlines that offer lower fares, newer airplanes, faster connections, more destinations and superior customer service," Mitchell said. He noted that through "unprecedented political pressure," U.S. carriers currently are doing all they can to block Norwegian Air International's application to begin U.S. flights.