Ryanair will start offering connecting flights this month, initially through Rome Fiumicino airport, with connections at other airports to be rolled out shortly afterwards.

It will be the first time the carrier has allowed passengers to transit from one plane to another without separate bookings.

At the same time, the low-cost carrier said discussions with Aer Lingus and Norwegian Airlines, as well as other potential partners, were continuing, with a view to launching connections with third airlines in late summer.

“We also plan to sell flights operated by other airlines on,” the carrier said in a statement.

In London, Ryanair chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, said: “The success of the Always Getting Better programme over the past three years has been reflected in ever increasing load factors and record passenger numbers, which has seen our traffic grow by over 50 per cent.”

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