April fools.

By Andrea Romano
April 01, 2019
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Budgeting for your space vacation may be easier than you think.

While tickets for a commercial space flight are projected to cost around $250,000 on Virgin Galactic, which has been making great strides toward space travel in the last few years, the world is still waiting with bated breath for the universe’s first budget space airline.

Dublin-based carrier Ryanair says it’s planning on becoming that airline, with plans to launch flights as early as 2035, according to the Telegraph.

Yeah, we wish.

Over the weekend, Ryanair sent out a press release to “select media outlets” saying it plans to venture into space travel, the Telegraph reported. “Space tourism is the obvious business-diversification strategy for an airline that wants to thrive in the increasingly competitive marketplace of travel in the 21st century,” said the company’s new head of space development, Eprila Murkha, in a statement. "Twenty years from now, tourists will not be content with a week in Spain, or a fortnight on the beach in Turkey. They will be looking further afield, maybe to Mars, but certainly as far as the moon and the outer limits of the stratosphere."

In case you haven’t caught on, this is clearly an April Fools’ Day joke.

After some research, it might be safe to say that Eprila Murka isn’t the head of space development for Ryanair, or a real person for that matter. “Murkha” translates to “fool” in Hindi, and Eprila is quite similar to April.

The Ryanair statement continued to say it will be teaming up with “pioneering German space-technology company Scherz Täuschen” to work on designs for its space ship later this year. While Virgin Galactic’s SpaceX will not be able to carry more than 100 passengers, Ryanair proposed a far more ambitious design plan to accommodate even more people.

Considering that Ryanair is a budget, “no-frills” airline, there’s no telling whether they’ll let you carry on a bag at this point.

A second clue for those who are still not convinced: In German, “scherz” means “fool” and “täuschen” means "deceive."

According to the Telegraph, Ryanair intends to “raise funds” by selling scratch-off tickets for customers to win free seats on the first space flights at £10 (about $13) per ticket. Luckily, since this is a joke, no one is actually about to be swindled by the airline.

The Telegraph spoke to a spokesperson for Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, who said, “If Ryanair managed to beat Virgin Galactic to space, he would give up the whole thing as a bad idea, and sit on Necker island all day, staring wistfully at the sky.”

Perhaps one day, society will have progressed enough that ordinary, non-millionaire people will be comparing budget flights to Mars. But that day is not coming any time soon.

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