Business Irish

Thursday 20 September 2018

'We don't catch falling knives' - Ryanair dismisses claims it has 'shown an interest in' Norwegian Air

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Ryanair has dismissed reports that it has 'shown an interest' to budget airline Norwegian Air.

The transatlantic airline's CEO said that Ryanair made an approach which has been discussed, according to a Reuters report.

"I can confirm that Ryanair has shown interest in Norwegian Air, and that I brought it up with the board," said Bjoern Kjos.

However, a spokesperson for Ryanair told Independent.ie that "there is no truth to these claims".

"Our CEO has repeatedly said we believe NAS [Norwegian] will go bust as oil rises to $80 a barrel and we don’t catch falling knives."

Norwegian Air has been under pressure to staff its fleet as it ramps up its transatlantic business.

Norwegian Air
Norwegian Air

The company said that summer bookings were good and that it had "more than enough" pilots to cover the season.

Courted by British Airways owner IAG, Norwegian had difficulties last summer with having enough pilots and had to lease extra planes and staff that weighed on its bottom line.

IAG, headed by former Aer Lingus boss Willie Walsh, revealed last month that it had bought a 4.61pc stake in Norwegian and was interested in acquiring the entire airline.

IAG also owns British Airways and Spanish carriers Iberia and Vueling. It also has a fledgling low-cost transatlantic carrier called Level.

Norwegian Air had no further comment to make when contacted by Independent.ie.

Reuters

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