Ryanair has taken its first tentative step into the long-haul market through a new flight partnership with Spanish-based airline Air Europa which will allow its customers to book trans-Atlantic flights on ryanair.com.
From Tuesday, 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.
The Air Europa partnership is the latest initiative delivered under the airline's "Always Getting Better" (AGB) customer experience programme. It follows the launch of its connecting flight service via Rome Fiumicino which it unveiled last week.
The partnership will allow Ryanair customers to connect on to Air Europa long-haul flights through Madrid.
‘Amazon of travel’
Ryanair said it was continuing its discussions with other long-haul airlines on potential connecting flight partnerships.
“This partnership is the latest AGB enhancement as we continue our journey to becoming the ‘Amazon of travel’,” Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said.
“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.”
The chief executive of the Globalia Group which flies under the Air Europa banner Javier Hidalgo said the Ryanair partnership put it "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".
He said the deal would position Air Europa as the best price-quality option to fly between Europe and America.