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Ryanair CEO Wants $10 Trans-Atlantic Flights

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said that he believed that $10 trans-Atlantic flights are possible.

Ryanair (NASDAQ: RYAAY) is one of Europe’s value airlines and by value, we mean, “value.” Among its great ideas, seats that don’t recline, charging one euro to use the toilet, removing toilets to make room for more seats, and charging overweight people extra. Value is how it keeps its price so low but in an interview with Bloomberg, he took value to a new level.

O’Leary said, “There may be an opportunity to do $10 fares across the Atlantic.” It’s that simple–but it’s not. He floated a similar idea, ($13 instead of $10) a couple of years ago but it never panned out. The reasons are simple. First, Ryanair doesn’t fly to the U.S. so it has no terminal space in key hubs that would receive trans-Atlantic flights.

Second, the company only flies 737s. These aircraft don’t offer enough seating capacity to make it cost effective. Third, part of its business model is rapid turnaround allowing it to keep its aircraft in the air more frequently. The more the company can fill seats with new passengers, the more money it makes. Trans-Atlantic flights are longer and don’t allow for rapid turnover.

That’s not to say that it can’t work but Bloomberg clearly has its doubts–so do most of the other airline executives.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the equities mentioned.

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