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Ryanair CEO: “Not a lot to worry about with SAS”


“Never mind Go Light, let’s just go honest, and lower the fares”
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary chatted to journalists in Copenhagen this week, announcing 15 new routes from the Danish capital, despite a dispute with Danish labour unions that forced it to close its bases at Copenhagen and Billund.
Skift interviewed O’Leary to talk about the challenges it faces. On the issue of when Ryanair will launch transatlantic flights, he replied, “Not for at least four or five years, because we can’t find a fleet of long-haul aircraft at low prices.”
He explained that “as fast as Boeing and Airbus can produce long-haul aircraft, the Gulf carriers […] are mopping up all the orders. […] So our plans now for the five or ten years are to continue ordering more short-haul Boeing aircraft and to grow rapidly here in Europe.”
After Skift pressed him on “the future transatlantic move”, he responds, “We never said that we would fly long-haul. We’ve always said that while there was a long-haul business plan and a transatlantic model, it would be a separate company from Ryanair.”
On the issue of unbundling fares, O’Leary is asked if he worries about legacy carriers moving in that direction, “like SAS’ new Go Light”. He replies, “There’s not a lot about to worry about with SAS. They’re kind of stumbling around with Go Light and all these types of initiatives. Let’s just go honest, and lower the fares.”
Skift responds, “What about KLM’s unbundled fares, and others in Europe?” To which O’Leary replies, “Honestly, I don’t pay too much attention to them. It’s all designed to replicate what the low-cost guys are doing.”


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