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O’Leary throws down a challenge to BA with plan for £6.30 flights to the US

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has thrown down the gauntlet to the major transatlantic airlines with an eye-catching plan for ‘ten buck’ flights to the United States.

The ebullient budget airline chief executive said he wanted tickets to start from as little as US $10 – or around £6.30 at current exchange rates – to bust open the strangle-hold of the major airlines including rivals British Airways.

Mr O’Leary told delegates at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress yesterday that the bargain flights could start in four years’ time: ‘But we’re not going to do it until we’ve got some planes.’

The plan has echoes of seventies cut-price pioneer Sir Freddie Laker whose cheap Skytrain flights to the USA transformed transatlantic travel for the masses, until being effectively killed off by the established airlines, though it inspired Sir Richard Branson to launch Virgin Atlantic.

Speaking at the Sofihotel adjoining Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5, Mr O’Leary told 400 budget airline bosses: ‘Ryanair fares across the Atlantic could start from around ten bucks.’

He stressed: ‘Clearly not all fares would be ten bucks.’

 

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