Ryanair plans to follow in the footsteps of Norwegian by operating low-cost transatlantic flights within five to ten years, chief executive Michael O'Leary has said.
O'Leary would like to start flying to North America within five years, but the unavailability of long-haul aircraft for the next four years rules that out.
Instead, he hopes the Irish budget carrier can break into the transtalantic marketplace within a decade, reports breakingnews.ie.
He said: "We've had a business plan ready to roll for a transatlantic low-fares airline. The difficulty is, I keep cautioning, is that there's no availability of long-haul aircraft for another four or five years.
"So unless we can secure a fleet of low-cost aircraft, frankly, the business doesn't get off the ground.
"The future is very hard to foretell, it certainly is unlikely to happen within the next five years, but I'd be disappointed if it doesn't happen within the period, maybe, five to 10 years."
In the summer, Norwegian vowed to put an end to "unreasonably high" transatlantic air ares as it launched its first flights between London Gatwick and the US (see news, July 4).
O'Leary last week promised Ryanair passengers more legroom and slimline seats as the airline ordered 100 of Boeing's new 737 Max 200 aircraft. (see news, September 8).