Could $14 Transatlantic Flights Be a Reality?

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According to Ryanair they could be, who said they want to offer transatantic flights from the U.S. to Europe for under £10 or about $14.

Their goal is to offer service from 14 major European cities to 12 to 14 destinations in the United States. However, Ryanair does not yet operate any aircraft capable of making these long-haul flights, so these $14 fares might be a ways off.


Per this ABC News story:

Ryanair’s colorful CEO is in the travel headlines again. But this time it’s not for promising to someday charge passengers for using the bathroom in-flight.

Michael O’Leary said his airline plans to offer flights from Europe to the United States for as little as $14. Flights from the United States to Europe will be even cheaper, he said.

He made his remarks at the Irish Hotels Federation conference earlier this week, as reported by The Telegraph. A Ryanair representative confirmed to ABC News O’Leary’s comments at the conference.

The flights would leave from up to 14 major European cities to 12 to 14 destinations in the United States.

But Ryanair does not yet operate any aircraft capable of making long-haul flights. It needs to acquire appropriate aircraft first and Ryanair told ABC News it “will not engage in speculation.”

“We can make money on 99 cent fares in Europe,” O’Leary said at the conference. “Not every seat will be 10 euros [about $14], of course. There will also need to be a very high number of business or premium seats.”

But in true Ryanair style, expect to pay up for the “extras.” The airline charges fees for bags, seat assignments, credit card transactions and printed boarding passes.

Bottom Line 

If they were to offer $14 fares to Europe, would be crossing the Atlantic every weekend, or still stick to a premium product on another airline.

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  1. I’m afraid that airfare of $14 is just a come-on, don’t forget the $600-800 worth of special fuel charges and taxes you’ll have to pay in addition. And oh, they left out the bit about standing up the entire 8 hours… Well you wanted a bargain, didn’t ya?

    Thanks but no thanks!

  2. Even if they paid me $14, I wouldn’t fly transatlantic with Ryanair. Absolutely not. Travel for me is an enjoyable, relaxing, and straightforward process as possible. These qualities are the antithesis of Ryanair.

    Southwest operating 777-300ERs? Absolutely every damn time!

  3. Yeah, I might need to pay big time for a chiropractor and a scottevest but yeah I’d be spending my weekends in Europe. No doubt about it.

  4. The $14 is if you stand all the way.

    The price goes up if you want to sit down.

    Oh, and don’t get thirsty… or need the bathroom.

    There’s an exit fee too.

  5. I know busting on Ryan Air is a favorite pasttime for basically everyone, but a number of the comments here aren’t quite fair. I haven’t flown Ryan, but I’ve flown easyJet a couple times for quick weekend trips and the business model is basically the same.

    Fuel Surcharges – About the only way that Ryan is customer friendly is their commitment to not charge fuel surcharges. Who knows if that changes when/if they go TATL, but they even state on their website that they don’t charge fuel surcharges.

    Standing/charging for bathrooms/etc – I look at this as a plan for free advertising from the CEO of Ryan. I doubt that they would actually implement this (unless of course when they floated the idea to the public people were agreeable…).

    I don’t know if I’d fly them or not. For a quick weekend trip, there’s a decent chance I would. But I’m young enough that my body bounces back quickly 🙂 I’m happy about the announcement if for no other reason than if it does come to fruition it might cause downward pressure on existing TATL carriers.

  6. This rubbish comes from O’Leary at irregular intervals.
    He also states that he needs to acquire the right aircraft for these ultra-cheap transatlantic flights, but that may take some time, because in reality he needs aircraft which don’t consume fuel.

    A simple calculation of the fuel cost to fly a passenger across the Atlantic:
    Distance from e.g. London to New York: 5587 km.
    Fuel consumption per passenger-km in e.g. an A380 super-jumbo: 0.03 liter per passenger-km (source Airbus).
    Jet fuel cost: 3.0 USD per US gallon (source IATA), i.e. 0.775 USD per liter.
    This yields a fuel cost of 130 USD to fly one passenger from London to N.Y., equivalently 94 EUR or 77.5 £.

    So O’Leary proposes to fly passengers across the Atlantic for a ticket price which covers only a tenth of the fuel cost; He will have to use imaginary aircraft or steal the fuel.
    Of course, Ryanair may give away two tickets per flight for free (so may any airline), but that cost will have to be carried by the other passengers.

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