Ryanair is seeking closer cooperation with established carriers like Air France-KLM, Lufthansa and British Airways in which the Irish low-cost airline would serve as a feeder service for the traditional airlines’ intercontinental flights to Asia and North America.
Speaking in Bergamo Italy at the opening of a new Ryanair hangar, O’Leary suggested a set-up in which Ryanair would provide the feeder services for long-haul flights, using a single ticket for both airlines. For example, travellers could take Ryanair from Prague to Amsterdam and then go onwards to Johannesburg on KLM.
Until now, Ryanair has been limited to point-to-point flights within Europe and the established carriers use their own smaller short-haul aircraft to provide feeder services for their lucrative long-haul flights.
However, air industry experts foresee a few problems in cooperation between budget and traditional carriers.
Among these are who is going to pay passengers for delays. Adrian Young of Dutch consultancy To70 said Lufthansa, for example, currently guarantees seamless transfers for a passenger between Bern and Singapore, including baggage.
‘Who is going to pay if the Ryanair flight is delayed. Or if baggage goes astray. It’s always a big problem,’ Young told the Financieele Dagblad.
This year Ryanair is adding nine new routes to its Eindhoven stable, bringing the total of its services at the airport to 42. Ryanair operates only two flights from Schiphol: Dublin and Malaga. It also flies twice a week from Maastricht to Alicante.
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