Saturday 20 January 2018

'Work with us on short haul, you lose less money, I’ll have less competition' - Ryanair eyes up deals with European carriers

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary at a press conference
Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary at a press conference Business Desk Business Desk

Ryanair is eyeing up a number of possible deals that could see it take an even large share of the European short-haul airline market, according to Bloomberg.

Ryanair is looking at deals with Norwegian Air Shuttle, Aer Lingus, Alitalia and Lufthansa that could assist the carriers in servicing their long-haul flights.

Ryanair believes it can hoover up the companies' short-haul flights which would allow them to focus on intercontinental routes, chief executive (ceo) Michael O’Leary said in an interview.

“The upside for us is in persuading the legacy carriers to stop trying to compete with us on short-haul because it feeds their long-haul,” he said.

“Work with us on short haul, you lose less money, I’ll have less competition.”

Ryanair is hoping to strike a deal in time to adjust its summer timetable, according to Bloomberg.

Read more: Pilot unions' day 'is largely dead' - Michael O'Leary

‘Not Some Scam’

“There’s nothing but upside for the legacy carriers in this, except you’ve got to persuade them it’s not some scam,” O’Leary said in Brussels after a meeting of the A4E airline lobby group.

European airlines have been struggling with declining profit margins following a drop in oil prices caused ticket prices to also fall.

The CEO said he has offered a similar arrangement to Alitalia on routes from Rome and Milan.

Read more: Ryanair passenger numbers grew again in January

‘Way Forward’

“It’s a demonstration of how we can feed a legacy carrier,” he said. “If we can do it in Dublin, why can’t we do it in Italy, why can’t we ultimately do it in Germany with Lufthansa? This is absolutely the way forward for the industry.”

“When Boeing and Airbus have 80 or 100 spare slots for long-haul aircraft that they desperately want to shift at a low cost, we’ll jump on it,” he said.

“But we’re not going to kill ourselves at the moment when their order books are full out to 2020-2021,” Mr O' Leary added

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