Ryanair could offer long-haul flights within five years, its chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs revealed at the Future of Air Finance conference in London yesterday (November 25).
He reaffirmed his belief that there is potential for Ryanair to add low-cost long-haul routes through a subsidiary if it's "doing it to scale". This, he clarified, would mean limiting it to four destinations.
However, he stressed that the Ryanair doesn't need long-haul operations to meet its growth plans. "There's enough to go after in Europe, you don't want to get distracted," Jacobs warned.
The airline is also open to codesharing with other airlines, confirmed Jacobs, something it had stayed away from in the past.
"It's not in the immediate plans but it is on the list of things we said we'd never do and we're now thinking about doing."
Also on that list is the aim to deliver better customer service through its new business plan.
As part of his presentation to members of the aviation industry, Jacobs showed an image of CEO, Michael O'Leary cuddling a puppy to reflect the airline's new softer approach to customer service.
The marketing officer also explained that Ryanair's focus is to expand within Germany, Scandinavia and Cyprus "whether it's with Cyprus Airways or not".
He believes that within 10 years, Ryanair could be the world's biggest airline according to its growth projections and fleet acquisition plans. "Our biggest problem is that we haven't got enough aircraft to satisfy demand," he claimed.
Jacobs comments came as European judges quashed a ruling that had dismissed Ryanair's claim that the air tax levied by the Republic of Ireland between 2009 and 2011 amounted to state aid for its competitors.
The General Court in Luxemburg yesterday (November 25) ruled that the European Commission should have launched a formal investigation rather than making a ruling and annulled that part of the decision.