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Ryanair looks to Russia as next destination

Reports from Moscow suggest that the Irish government has asked for permission for Ryanair to fly between the two countries.

Image: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE DEPARTMENT OF Foreign Affairs has told TheJournal.ie it is unable to comment on today’s reports that it has asked the Russian Transport Ministry to allow Ryanair to operate between the two countries.

A spokesperson said that discussions between the two governments would be part of usual bi-lateral relations but no further details about a commercially sensitive matter could be outlined.

The Moscow Times reports that the document from the Irish Ministry did not contain any possible routes or flight frequency. Citing a Russian government source, the newspaper indicated that further talks between the countries’ aviation authorities will be held.

Last weekend, the Sunday Independent revealed that Michael O’Leary’s Ryanair has already held talks with a number of airports in Russia.

In a statement to TheJournal.ie today, the budget airline confirmed the discussions were still at a “purely exploratory” stage.

“Ryanair will always meet with airports that are interested in bringing Ryanair’s low fares to their market. Ryanair is currently in discussion with over 50 European airports, so competition for Ryanair growth is fierce. We talk to many airports and always keep the door open to new route options; and the best way to do that is by meeting them.”

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Following remarks by its head Igor Artemyev last week, Russia’s Anti-Monopoly Service seems to be interested in welcoming foreign, low-cost airline into its airports to fly domestic routes. The country’s own budget airlines ceased operations last year after failing to be successful in the market.

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