Ryanair has started selling flights to the US and Latin America, as part of a partnership with Air Europa. The airline’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, announced the move, which he said was a step towards becoming the “Amazon of travel”.
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.Ryanair
“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”.
Ryanair, which became Europe's largest airline by passenger numbers in January, has been vocal about its plans to pivot growth away from Britain in the wake of the Brexit vote, instead planning for "prudent" growth there.
Last month, the carrier's finance director Neil Sorahan said Ryanair could halt flights out of the UK "for a period of time" due to Brexit uncertainty hitting demand. Sorahan warned that there could be "no flights for a period of time between UK and Europe" if no bilateral arrangements are made.