Ryanair 'open' to long-haul codeshare deal at Stansted

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Ryanair is 'open' to signing its first ever codeshare with long-haul carriers on routes from London Stansted as part of a newly signed 10 year growth deal at the airport.

In an unprecedented move, chief executive Michael O'Leary says Ryanair has agreed to help "attract long-haul airlines, we will be working in any way we can to encourage those carriers to fly to Stansted".

When asked during a press conference in London today announcing the new deal if that would constitute a formal codeshare agreement O'Leary said he was "open to the idea".

Ryanair currently has no codeshare a in place with any carrier.

The Irish low-cost carrier will help encourage new routes to be launched from Stansted as part of a 10 year agreement signed with operator Manchester Airports Group to grow traffic by 50% from 13.2 million at Stansted today to just over 20 million.

O'Leary says the carrier must meet "aggressive targets" on passenger growth to "receive modest discounts" on airport fares under the deal.

As part of the agreement Stansted will also provide low-cost facilities for Ryanair such as additional bus transfer services from its satellite buildings and gates for aircraft to be kept overnight.

Ryanair is also looking at offering an 'airport bag' to customers at Stansted allowing them to take on board duty free at no additional charge under the agreement.