The report follows Michael O’Leary talking openly for at least a year about the possibility of setting up a trans-Atlantic carrier, separate from the Ryanair brand, if he could source a suitable fleet. Services would fly to “secondary” U.S. airports like Providence (for Boston), Long Island MacArthur (for New York) or Oakland (for San Francisco). A previous charter operator had planned Dublin-Niagara Falls flights in 2007, but that fell through when that company was unable to secure aircraft for the flights.
The airline has denied any concrete plans. A Ryanair spokesperson said: “Ryanair meets with lots of airports and at their request we met them.”
In an interview with The Buffalo News, Gregory Stamm, chairman of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority said after the meeting: “There no question there’s a market on both ends for these charters. It’s a matter of how this would fit into Ryanair’s expansion plans.”
Niagara Falls International Airport is often confused with the Buffalo Niagara International Airport that’s just 20 miles away. The Niagara Falls airport currently has only one regularly scheduled carrier - South Carolina-based public charter company Direct Air. But the airport is currently building a US$30 million passenger terminal and is seeking to add airlines that would attract fliers not only from Buffalo and western New York, but from Canada as well.