In a first for Ryanair, Europe's largest low-cost carrier has come to an agreement with its Irish-based competitor Aer Lingus, for a flight co-operation arrangement. This is the first such agreement that Ryanair has entered into with another airline. It had tried to create one of these deals before with Norwegian Air Shuttle, but negotiations fell through.
The new co-operation agreement will allow passengers of Ryanair to transfer to transatlantic flights on Aer Lingus. Passengers on Aer Lingus flights will also be allowed to connect to their destinations on Ryanair flights. It seems like a very simple deal that will allow both airlines to expand the services they offer their passengers.
A third-party company will handle the bookings for flights that will include both airlines. The third-party service will also offer insurance for missed connection flights. Reimbursing passengers for missed flights has been the largest concern for Ryanair in establishing this type of partnership with another carrier.
Ryanair has stated in the past that it was opposed to selling 'entire journeys'. The airline has built itself by providing quick flights to a multitude of destinations and believed that it could continue with this type of business plan in the future.
However, last year, Ryanair started experimenting with continued journey flight plans within its own system. Much to the surprise of Ryanair's CEO, the continued journey flights were very successful. It is because of this success that Ryanair has sought out another airline that offers transatlantic flights to make its first connection with to see how this type of partnership would work. If successful, you may see Ryanair partnering with airlines to reach every area of the world in the future.