DUBLIN (dpa-AFX) - Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe's largest discount airline, said Thursday that it has no plans to operate transatlantic flights.
'In the light of recent press coverage, the Board of Ryanair Holdings Plc wishes to clarify that it has not considered or approved any transatlantic project and does not intend to do so,' the Swords, Ireland-based company said in a statement.
The volte-face came just three days after Ryanair said it plans to launch cheap transatlantic flights to as many as 14 U.S. cities from Europe in four to five years' time, subject to acquisition of viable long-haul aircraft.
'The board of Ryanair, like any PLC, has approved the business plans for future growth, including transatlantic,' the company said on March 16. 'We are talking to manufacturers about long-haul aircraft but can't comment further on this. European consumers want lower cost travel to the USA and the same for Americans coming to Europe. We see it as a logical development in the European market.'
'We would like to offer low-cost flights between 12 to 14 European cities and 12 to 14 U.S. cities. The business plan is there but it's dependent on attaining viable long-haul aircraft and we estimate that's four to five years away.'
Founded in 1985, Ryanair has a fleet of more than 300 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft and operates more than 1,600 scheduled short-haul flights per day serving about 189 airports mainly in Europe.
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