Brace yourselves.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary says he's keen to take his Europe-based budget carrier to the long-haul market.

Speaking at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress in London last week, O'Leary said he would take Ryanair into the long-haul market as soon as aircraft design made it economically viable. At which point they'd start with services to three European and three United States cities, building to 10 routes per region.

"I think it will happen in time," he said. "We'd like to do long-haul transatlantic routes but unless you come up with cheaper long-haul aircraft it won't happen."


Good news for fliers who fancy a bargain. Bad news for those who like a few home comforts on longer flights.

Ryanair is lifting its game on customer service, but its reputation precedes it. The airline has talked in the past about having passengers stand up for the duration of a flight and pay to use the toilets. (This week's Flight Check review covers one of their flights, see page 17.)

Even if they never fly to our shores and even if you never choose to fly them, Ryanair's long-haul ambitions could lower fares for all.