After shunning the interline market for 30 years because of the costs involved, Ryanair has begun talks about providing transfer connections.
According to BusinessWorld in Ireland, Ryanair is talking with British Airways owner International Airlines Group, as well as with Aer Lingus, about providing transfers for its rivals’ long-haul services.
O’Leary went on to say that connecting passengers would be a “reasonably small” part of Ryanair’s business, but the next five to 10 years could see low-cost carriers feeding up to 50% of their passengers to long-haul carriers flying from Europe.
The proposed system outlined would see customers buying tickets from the long-haul carrier. If it came to operate in the opposite direction, a passenger from Australia could perhaps buy tickets from a participating long-haul carrier here, for instance, and then connect to Ryanair in Europe.
Missed connections are a sticking point – Ryanair doesn’t want the cost of compensating people for those, though it would be happy to fly passengers on later flights if necessary.
In the shorter term, O’Leary said Ryanair could begin providing feeder traffic for its Irish rivals before the end of this year.
Ryanair has also spoken to Norwegian Air Shuttle and Virgin Atlantic about flights at London Gatwick, O’Leary confirmed, as well as talking with Portugal’s TAP about feeding traffic from Lisbon.
Written by Peter Needham