HomeIrish NewsRyanair to Launch Ferry Division to Offset Dublin Airport Growth Concerns

Ryanair to Launch Ferry Division to Offset Dublin Airport Growth Concerns

Ryanair is set to expand into shipping by launching its own ferries division, it is understood.

Europe’s largest airline is looking at the move in a bid to offset any prospect of lost business due to the current annual cap on passenger numbers using Dublin Airport.

Ryanair is understood to be working on a prototype and is now expected to apply for a ferry licence – at the very beginning of April – for Ireland-UK and Ireland-Spain routes, where it would directly compete with the likes of Irish Ferries, Brittany Ferries and Stena Line on popular consumer routes.

It is due to hold talks over berths with both Dublin Port and Dún Laoghaire; as well as Bremore Ireland Port, in Co Donegal.

The new division – tentatively named ‘Ryanair all at Sea’, but with a Plan-B working title of ‘Ryansea’ also under consideration – will have the same distinctive blue and yellow Ryanair livery, but no cabins, seats or windows on board.

In a further cost-cutting measure, to bypass expensive shipbuilding yards in Italy and France and the risk of delayed deliveries, Ryanair is understood to be planning on using some of its pending new Boeing planes as ship parts.

Upon delivery, it will – according to an informed industry source – “break apart” a number of the planes and use the pieces to make its very own fleet of ships.

In a clear hint that Ryanair is working on a big project, a source exclusively told ITTN that upon approaching a clearly startled airline CEO Eddie Wilson and group CEO Michael O’Leary at one of the buildings close to Ryanair’s Airside/Swords headquarters, in north Co Dublin, they were told to “go away” and that there was “nothing to see here”.

Ryanair recently warned that its plan to grow its Irish passenger numbers by 50% by 2030 would be scuppered if the Dublin Airport passenger cap, of 32 million passengers per year, were to remain.

As the airline group is a publicly quoted company, the Ryanair board will have to put the left-field expansion plan to a shareholder vote.

To that end, it is apparently envisaged that an extraordinary general meeting (egm) will be held at either very short notice – later today – or at a more distant point in the future, with the 12th of Never rumoured as a possible alternative date.

Geoff Percival
Geoff Percival
Geoff has worked in business, news, consumer and travel journalism for more than 25 years; having worked for and contributed to the likes of The Irish Examiner, Business & Finance, Business Plus, The Sunday Times, The Irish News, Senior Times, and The Sunday Tribune.

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