Passengers could be able to fly from Essex to the United States for less than £10, a budget airline boss has claimed.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary suggested his airline would offer the ultra-cheap tickets once the company purchases a fleet of long-haul aircraft.

The Stansted-based carrier announced last week it was offering extra summer flights on new and existing European routes.

Mr O’Leary spoke about Ryanair’s ambition to offer Transatlantic flights to New York and Boston at a conference in Ireland.

He believes certain tickets can be offered for as little as 10 euros (£8.20), but customers would have to pay for extras including baggage, food and ticket printing.

Mr O’Leary said: “We can make money on 99 cent fares in Europe.

“Not every seat will be 10 euros of course - there will also need to be a very high number of business or premium seats.”

But the airline boss warned it could be four or five years until Ryanair is able to buy the fleet of 50 planes needed to start running regular flights to America.

Friday marked the first anniversary of Stansted’s takeover by the Manchester Airports Group (MAG).

Stansted chief executive Andrew Harrison said: “We have signed long term deals with airlines that will add an extra 11million passengers over the next decade.

”Our regulator has agreed to free us from price controls so we can get on with building long term commercial partnerships with airlines “ Ryanair will start 13 new routes at Stansted this summer, including Lisbon, Prague and Bucharest, as well as increased flights on 26 existing routes.

Mr O’Leary said: “Ryanair looks forward to further traffic, route and job growth at Stansted in the years to come."