Yesterday, The Irish Times reported that the board of Ryanair has approved plans to launch transatlantic service to the United States, including Chicago, Boston, and New York. The Guardian added Miami to the list. European destinations would include Ryanair hubs at Dublin and London Stansted plus Berlin.
Ryanair currently has a fleet of 307 aircraft, all Boeing 737-800s. While the articles state that Ryanair is talking with aircraft manufacturers about purchasing long-haul aircraft, it's possible that Ryanair could start transatlantic service with the 737-800. Boeing documents the maximum range of the 737-800 as 3,115 nm—in a 2-class configuration, typically with 162 seats, and with winglets. While Ryanair's 737-800s have winglets, they pack in 189 seats. Boeing performance charts for the 737-800 without winglets show that with a full payload range is slightly over 2,000 nm, noting that aircraft with winglets "will have slightly greater range." A Ryanair mission would lie between those two extremes.
Today's Featured Map shows these two ranges centered on Dublin (green), with the destinations under consideration. Boston and New York might be within reach, but not Chicago nor Miami. One possibility, which would not be out of character for Ryanair, would be a technical stop at Gander, Newfoundland. The blue line shows the full-payload range of the 737-800 centered on Gander. All four US cities are within this range as is Dublin. Stansted to Gander is 2,061 nm, also within range given winglets and perhaps a small payload hit. This is a still-air range, however. Headwinds and ETOPS reserves on the westbound flight might seriously impact payloads.
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Karl L. Swartz.
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