Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has stated that transatlantic connections from Liverpool John Lennon Airport could be available from later this year.
Ryanair’s chief executive has been in Liverpool to talk to airport bosses with regards to new routes from the airport. He has pledged ‘two or three new routes’ for the north west airport from this winter, and said that he is in talks with Aer Lingus to offer onward connections to the US.
That would enable passengers to check their bags in at Liverpool, fly Ryanair to Dublin, clear US customs at Dublin, and then transfer to an Aer Lingus flight to any of its American destinations. Aer Lingus launched a Dublin-Liverpool flight in 2016, allowing it to offer transfers to the US, but that service closed late last year. Dublin is one of two Irish airports to offer ‘pre-clearance’ to those travelling to the US. It means travellers can clear US customs at Dublin and avoid the often huge queues to clear customs in the US.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, O’leary said: ‘We’re talking to Aer Lingus about connecting into their transatlantics at Dublin. You can see a much better operation with Ryanair carrying people from Liverpool to Dublin and then they’re connecting in Dublin going transatlantic clearing Customs. It would be the fastest and certainly the cheapest way to fly from the North West to the US.’
He added that the airlines had signed a provisional ‘heads of terms’ agreement and that talks were ongoing.
He said: ‘There’s a lot of logistical issues to be resolved, mainly reservation systems talking to each other and our computer system. Hopefully we can get those resolved in the next couple of months. I’d like to see it happen by sometime in the summer of 2017. But if not, winter of 2017 will do fine.’