Wednesday 23 October 2019

Brexit not hurting flight demand, says Ryanair

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary. Photo: Bloomberg
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary. Photo: Bloomberg

Sarah Young

Ryanair is not seeing any impact from Brexit on demand for flights, and is prepared for a no-deal, chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said yesterday.

He added that it isn't interested in buying British regional airline Flybe, which put itself up for sale last week.

In a press conference in London, Mr Jacobs reiterated comments that Europe's biggest low-cost airline, which has been hit by a series of strikes this year, would come to agreements with unions in its main markets before the end of March.

The comments on Brexit from the Irish airline echo what smaller British rival Easyjet said on Tuesday, about it being prepared for a no-deal scenario, and the uncertainty over Brexit having no impact on ticket sales.

"The demand that's out there ... is really, really strong. The European consumer, the British consumer just continues to book," Mr Jacobs said.

CEO Michael O'Leary has in the past warned that a disorderly Brexit could ground flights for a number of weeks after the UK leaves.

But after reassurances on flying rights provided by the EU last week, that is no longer a risk, said Mr Jacobs.

He added that Ryanair was "not interested in Flybe" - a smaller operator hit by rising fuel prices in recent times.

"It'll probably be split up and you'll probably get a few different airlines buying the various assets," Mr Jacobs said.

Ryanair's plan was predominantly for organic growth, he added.

Reuters

Also in Business