[[Ryanair]], perhaps the industry's most infamous low-cost carrier, may be close to choosing a North American destination to begin transatlantic service. And while anyone familiar with Ryanair's history would expect the airline to choose a small, out-of-the-way airport, few among us would have guessed Niagara Falls. But that's exactly where the airline is looking.
According to The Buffalo News, Ryanair is in talks with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) to begin direct chartered flights to Ireland. Niagara Falls may seem like an odd choice, but the News reports that demand for charter service to Ireland is high in Western New York state and Southern Ontario. NFTA Chairman Gregory Stamm told the News, "There's no question there's a market on both ends for these charters. It's more a matter of how this would fit into Ryanair's expansion plans."
Eventually, Ryanair will likely add service to secondary airports like Baltimore, Long Island, and Providence, but Niagara Falls, which is currently served by only one small airline with connections to two destinations, poses an interesting scenario. Ryanair, which can offer extremely low airfares, could make headway with charter service from under-served parts of the country, even as it develops a route network serving more prominent airports outside cities and within populous areas. The end result would be good for consumers: cheap transatlantic fares no matter where you live.