WHAT THE PAPERS SAY: Low-cost flights spark dogfight

Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's flamboyant CEO, leapt in to the low-cost 'transatlantic dogfight' last week...

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s flamboyant CEO, leapt in to the low-cost ‘transatlantic dogfight’ (The Times, 13 April) last week with the headline-grabbing assertion that a Ryanair sister company would be providing flights to the US for just £7 by the end of the decade.

That this new airline has yet to be formed, aircraft bought and landing slot deals made did not seem to faze the ‘irrepressible motor­mouth’ (The Indepen­dent, 13 April). The announce­ment came less than 24 hours after Zoom announced that its low-cost US flights would be available from June.

It was quickly followed by the news that Virgin Atlantic and Air Southwest were also likely to join the budget transatlantic fray.

The reason behind the flurry of activity lay with the groundbreaking ‘open skies’ agreement between the US and EU, which is set to revolutionise the transatlantic route when it comes into force in March 2008.

Not all were enthused by the prospect of no-frills ­travel to the US, however.

Under the headline ‘Open skies, closed minds’, The Guardian highlighted the environmental cost, asserting that ‘open skies’ amounted to the prioritisation of ‘growth over sustainability’ (13 April).

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.

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