It’s a potential first step in a North American expansion for Ryanair who said last week that they would begin service to several US cities via a new long-haul partnership with SkyTeam’s Mallorca based Air Europa. The partnership starts this Tuesday and will allow Ryanair to book Air Europa tickets to 20 cities in the Americas via Ryanair’s website. Bloomberg says that a second phase will include connections between Ryanair’s flights to Madrid and Air Europa’s long-haul destinations. Ryanair notes that they could one day provide similar services to Lufthansa, Alitalia, and TAP.
The Irish carrier is tapping its dense European network with an eye to supplanting its legacy competitors’ often unprofitable short-haul operations designed to feed passengers to more lucrative long-distance routes. The Air Europa deal follows similar agreements with IAG SA’s Aer Lingus and Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA. Ryanair has said it could operate feed arrangements with the likes of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Italy’s Alitalia SpA and Portugal’s TAP.