Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary promised £7 tickets to the US and Southwest Airlines, the American pioneer of no-frills travel, signalled its intention to start flying to the UK. The prospect of cheap flights from London to New York will revive memories of Freddie Laker’s ultimately doomed challenge to the flag carriers 30 years ago. However, liberalisation of air travel through last month’s “open skies” agreement promises to revolutionise transatlantic travel. Ryanair, Europe’s biggest low-cost carrier, yesterday unveiled plans to offer flights to Baltimore, Rhode Island and New York for as little as 10-12 euros each way, but the service is likely to face stiff competition.Personal comment: If ticket prices indeed drop a lot, that would promote more transatlantic travels, personal exchanges and mutual understanding and might decrease Anti-Americanism and Euro-Bashing. More flights, however, would also be bad news for climate protection efforts.