Free flights across Europe could happen within 5 years

Sarah Neate 30 November 2016

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Yes, you read that right.

The claim comes from low-cost carrier Ryanair while announcing its own plans for growth over the next decade.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary is known for his headline-making, attention-grabbing declarations, such as this inconvenient idea of charging for toilets on planes), so we don’t usually read too much into his statements. However, being the over-zealous deal hunters that we are here at finder.com.au, the prospect of free flights across Europe can't help but whet our bargain-hungry appetite.

O’Leary claims that he wants flights across the budget airline’s network to be free in under a decade’s time. He told the Guardian<: “I have this vision that in the next five to 10 years that the air fares on Ryanair will be free, in which case the flights will be full."

Sounds impossible? Perhaps not. The idea behind the plan is that busy planes equal busy airports - and there are loads of retail opportunities to be had with passengers partaking in pre- and post-flight shopping. In addition, convenience items at airports have a huge mark-up, with a bottle of water costing up to 300% more than in a your local supermarket.

But how would Ryanair make money from this? Their negotiations will need to be with the airport directly as they’re planning to leverage those retail opportunities. O'Leary states that Ryanair “will be making our money out of sharing the airport revenues”.

At finder, we find it hard to believe that Ryanair’s fares could get any cheaper (this is an airline that has served us £1 London to Dublin flights on numerous occasions), but we’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for these fares.

Meanwhile, plan a trip to Europe to take advantage of these fares with the best flight deals from Australia.

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