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Old May 25th, 2005, 09:30 PM   #941
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EasyJet Expands Basel Base, Adds Hamburg To Network
25 May 2005
Edited Press Release

LONDON (Dow Jones)--European low cost airline easyJet PLC said Wednesday that it would add more capacity to its base at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg this summer and introduce an additional three new routes.

Thee daily services from EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg to Madrid and Hamburg commences on Aug. 11, whilst the daily service to Malaga commences on Aug. 12.

"This expansion is a continuation of the development of EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg as easyJet's second Swiss base and will increase the total number of routes offered to 13, with four aircraft operating through the airport," easyJet said.

Chief Executive Ray Webster said easyJet's expansion at Basel's EuroAirport is a further step in easyJet's commitment to intra European travel and reflects the airlines growth plans for Germany.

"The airline will now offer a choice of 13 routes from its new Basel base and Wednesday's announcement increases the number of German airports on easyJet's network to five," he said in a statement.

The new routes are in addition to six announced last month to Alicante, Barcelona, Naples, Nice, Palma and Rome starting on June 17.

Madrid and Malaga are currently served easyJet destinations that have proved to be very popular, whilst the Hamburg service adds a new city to the easyJet network taking the total number of destinations served to 62 and a total of 205 routes throughout Europe.

Seats are on sale now, with fares to Madrid and Malaga from EUR26.99 one way, to Hamburg from EUR18.99 one way.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 03:50 AM   #942
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No-frills airline boss spares no expense to extend estate
Tom Felle
24 May 2005
Irish Independent

RYANAIR boss Michael O'Leary won't be allowed to build his own terminal at Dublin Airport, but he has applied for permission to extend his estate in Co Westmeath.

The multi-millionaire airline chief has applied for planning permission to build a number of stables and sheds and to make improvements to his farm beside his lavish Georgian Gigginstown House near Mullingar.

But despite his no-frills policy, he is sparing nothing when it comes to his horses.

He wants to build a stable for 12 horses, including storage rooms and toilets, an exercise arena, cattle handling facilities, a dry storage shed, a manure holding area and to upgrade the existing farm entrance at the Kilpatrick estate.

Mr O'Leary owns a large estate and has a herd of prize-winning cattle and top race horses.

But he is not in it for the love of farming.

According to accounts filed with the Companies office, his taxi and stud farm, Tillingdale, made a profit of almost €500,000 in 2004, and most of it was tax-free.

That is on top of his €800,000 annual salary as Ryanair chief executive.

Tillingdale, which owns the business name O'Leary Cabs, bought Mr O'Leary's taxi plate in 2003.

The company's main activity is as a stud farm.

It trades as Gigginstown House Stud Farm and owns a number of horses, including War of Attrition.

The 44-year-old is the sole shareholder of the company, while he and his wife Anita are directors.

The application was lodged in his and his wife's name on April 28 and a decision to grant permission is due on June 22.

This is not the first time that Mr O'Leary has extended his estate.

In 2001, he applied to build a lavish extension to his Mullingar home including a swimming pool, a rear two-storey wing and made repairs to the roof.

The work was completed just in time to hold the reception for his wedding in 2003.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 03:09 PM   #943
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Ryanair invades Poland
http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/news....=rte-en-180505

60 YEARS AFTER VE DAY:
RYANAIR LIBERATES POLAND


5 NEW ROUTES TO POLAND & SLOVAKIA AT FARES FROM £3.99*

Ryanair, Europe’s No. 1 low fares airline, today (Wednesday, 18th May 2005) announced 5 new routes to Poland and Slovakia. From October 30th, 2005 Ryanair will operate daily flights from London-Stansted to Gdansk, Bydgoszcz, Szczecin, Rzeszow (Poland) and a twice-daily route to Bratislava (Slovakia). Bookings can be made on Ryanair.com today from just £3.99*.

Announcing Ryanair’s new routes in London today, Michael Cawley, Deputy CEO said:

“In 2004 Michael O’Leary said: “Who wants to go to Gdansk? There ain’t a lot there after you’ve seen the shipyard wall”. There he goes – wrong again. A big piece of humble pie later and it’s RE (Ryanair in Europe) Day as Ryanair liberates Poland from the tyranny of high fares. British Tourists can now discover Poland and decide for themselves what Gdansk, Bydgoszcz, Szczecin, and Rzeszow have to offer without paying the high fares of LOT and Easyjet.

“Today, we also add a new route to Bratislava in Slovakia, which has the added appeal of its proximity to Vienna, a destination which until today could only be accessed at prohibitively high fares.

“These five new routes mean British passengers will save over £60M on the high fares of other airlines and will benefit from Ryanair’s unbeatable punctuality and customer service”.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 04:42 PM   #944
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Ryanair's O'Leary: low cost boom still not fading
By Paul Majendie

DUBLIN, May 26 (Reuters) - Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary, celebrating the budget airline's 20th birthday on Thursday, said he was confident the low cost airline boom in Europe had not run out of steam.

The flamboyant entrepreneur said fuel surcharges by other airlines had boosted business for his no-frills airline which he predicted would double its capacity to 70 million passengers in five years.

"We think the biggest driver in our numbers, certainly over the last six months if not 12 months, is fuel surcharges being levied by competition," he said.

Rival low-cost carrier easyJet Plc, which has also refused to introduce surcharges despite high oil prices, warned earlier this week that fuel bills would erode profits this year.

Nevertheless, O'Leary said that he was "just about comfortable" with analyst forecasts that Ryanair will post a 245 million euro ($308 million) profit for the year just ended when it publishes results next week.

"If anything, the low cost airline boom is increasing," O'Leary told reporters after blowing out 20 candles on a Ryanair birthday cake.

O'Leary, who ranks alongside Virgin boss Richard Branson as one of the most successful self-publicists in the airline business, said: "There is no competitor out there in Europe that threatens Ryanair at our present cost base."

The Ryanair boss, who dressed up as the Pope last year to publicise the expansion of the company's Italian business, forecast that western Europe would still be the biggest area of future expansion.

"Will we carry 70 million passengers in five years time ? Yeah, we will," he said.

Never one to miss a chance to knock his rivals, O'Leary boasted that later this year, Ryanair monthly traffic would top 3.5 million passengers, overtaking the total worldwide traffic of British Airways.

"The very fact that a Mickey Mouse Irish airline can start in a field in Waterford 20 years ago and in 20 years overtake the world's self-styled, self proclaimed favourite airline is testament to the almost unstoppable demand for low airfare travel around Europe," he said.

O'Leary has been locked in a long-running war of words with the Irish government of Prime Minister Bertie Ahern over a second terminal in Dublin which he said should be in competition with the current state-run terminal.

"The whole thing is a bloody shambles," he said of plans announced last week for a new terminal by the year 2009.

"It is a fight for truth and justice against the evil empire of Bertie Ahern and the bearded forces of darkness in the trade union movement."
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Old May 27th, 2005, 05:00 AM   #945
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Ryanair recruitment ad violated Latvian law: competition watchdog

RIGA, May 26 (AFP) - A recruitment advertisement placed by Irish low-cost airline Ryanair in a Latvian business daily violated the Baltic state's laws, Latvia's Competition Council has ruled.

Ryanair published an advertisement in Latvian business daily Dienas Biznes in February, announcing a "pilot-luring day in Riga -- the native city of airBaltic national carrier", the advertising standards watchdog said Wednesday.

"In the newspaper advertisements, Ryanair used the abbreviated form of airBaltic four times. The Competition Council found that the name airBaltic was used without its owner's permission," the advertising standards body said.

Latvian advertising law prohibits the use of the "name, label or any other identification of another company without its permission, unless it is a comparative advertisement".

The ad promised airBaltic pilots "an opportunity to work for the number one cheap flights company in Europe" and "number one airline in terms of profit in Europe".

AirBaltic filed a complaint with the Competition Council on February 18, saying the purpose of the Ryanair advertisement was to lure away the highly skilled employees of another company.

Despite the ruling, Ryanair has not been punished, because the advertisement was published only one time, after the Irish company was made aware of the violation, the competition watchdog said.

Ryanair operates ex-Riga routes to London, Frankfurt and Tampere, Finland.

AirBaltic, founded in 1995, is majority-owned by the Latvian state, which holds 52.6 percent of the airline, and Scandinavian airlines SAS, with 47.2 percent.

The Latvian national carrier flies from Riga and the Lithuanian capital Vilnius to more than 20 European cities.
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Old May 27th, 2005, 09:05 AM   #946
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This story was printed from TODAYonline

Former Valuair CEO Sim joins Jet Airways

'Proven leader' will focus on route studies, market forecasts

Friday • May 27, 2005

Shobha Tsering Bhalla
[email protected]

THE old adage which says one can't keep a good man down for long has held true, with the appointment of Valuair's former chief executive officer, Mr Sim Kay Wee, to two plum posts in the airline industry.

Mr Sim, has joined India's leading domestic airline Jet Airways as its senior regional representative and Changi Airport Managers and Partners (Singapore) — Champs — as a senior consultant. He will hold both appointments on a part-time basis.

Mr Sim started work with Champs on the first of this month and with Jet Airways on May 16.

The offers came almost immediately after Mr Sim resigned from Valuair last month — after only nine months with the airline — for what he said were "personal reasons". But some industry insiders speculated he quit due to tensions between him and the airline's senior management.

As a buoyant Mr Sim put it: "Barely had I put on my sun-tan lotion and hit the golf course when Mr Boon Swan Foo, chairman of Champs, called me for a chat."

His new job was the outcome of the "chat". Mr Boon said he called Mr Sim "as soon as it was confirmed he had resigned" because he is a "proven industry leader".

"Before he joined Valuair, he was with SIA and Sats (Singapore Airport Terminal Services) and has a wealth of industry experience," said Mr Boon.

"In the airport business, we need people who understand the business not only from the airport's point of view but also from the airlines' and users' point of view."

Mr Sim's consultancy with Champs includes working on routes studies, as well as market and traffic forecasts of overseas airports which Champs intends to bid for.

When asked why he was taking on these posts so soon after his hectic stint at Valuair, Mr Sim said: "With nearly 35 years immersed in the aviation industry, it's hard to get rid of the aviation fuel running through one's bloodstream."

Hiring Mr Sim is part of Jet Airway's strategy of netting the best people in the industry said Mr V Raja, the airline's vice-president for South-east Asia.

"Our chairman, Mr Goyal, has an eye for good people," said Mr Raja, a 34-year veteran in the industry himself.

Mr Sim's duties with Jet Airways include assisting in getting traffic rights for viable routes.

Last month, Jet Airways started daily flights from Mumbai to Singapore — its first destination outside South Asia.

Copyright MediaCorp Press Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old May 27th, 2005, 09:08 AM   #947
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No-frills giant Ryanair celebrates 20th birthday, predicts more growth
26 May 2005

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) - Ryanair, the brash no-frills airline that has expanded rapidly across Europe, celebrated its 20th birthday Thursday by predicting it would soon overtake British Airways in the number of passengers it carries.

Ryanair took to the air two decades ago, operating a single daily route between London and the southeast Irish city of Waterford. Today it operates 220 routes in 19 countries.

Chief Executive Michael O'Leary blew out 20 candles on a cake in a central Dublin hotel -- then made a raft of typically cocky predictions about the airline's coming triumphs.

He said Ryanair this year would overtake British Airways' worldwide passenger load of 3.5 million per month. He expected Ryanair to be carrying 70 million passengers annually within the next five years.

"The very fact that a Mickey Mouse Irish airline can start in a field in Waterford 20 years ago and, in 20 years, overtake the world's self-styled, self-proclaimed favorite airline," he said, referring to British Airways, "is testament to the almost unstoppable demand for low-airfare travel around Europe."

Ryanair also announced it was selling 200,000 seats across its network for euro0.99 or 99 British pence in celebration of its birthday. Those fares, as usual in Ryanair promotions, exclude tax and other charges, meaning these tickets will really cost around euro25 (US$30) each way.
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Old May 27th, 2005, 01:33 PM   #948
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Business Times - 27 May 2005

Tiger Airways to start daily flights to the Philippines


SINGAPORE - Singapore low-fare carrier Tiger Airways said on Friday it will begin daily flights to the Philippines from July 30, up from five times a week, due to strong demand.

'The increase will allow Tiger Airways to carry more than 180,000 passengers to the Philippines in a year, bringing about economic benefits to tourism and businesses in the region,' the airline said in a statement.

Airline chief executive Tony Davis said the increase in flights was the 'direct result of requests' from Filipino officials. He said Tiger Airways has noticed 'strong forward bookings' for the June-July period.
Read Tiger Airways' news release

Tiger Airways, which is 49-per cent owned by Singapore Airlines, began flights to Clark Field, 80 kilometres north of Manila, on April 5.

Airline tickets for a one-way trip between July 1 and August 31 had been selling for as low as $14.98, excluding taxes and other charges, according to the Tiger Airways website.

A one-way ticket to Manila on Philippine Airlines costs about $310. On Singapore Airlines, it will cost roughly $480.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old May 29th, 2005, 04:31 AM   #949
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May 29, 2005
Move to start budget cargo airline

MyJet Asia CEO and former Unisys Singapore partner team up to vie for share of growing pie; first flights from next April if My Air Cargo gets nod

By Chua Kong Ho

ONE makes a living flying rock stars, royalty and tycoons on sleek Gulfstream jets. The other has spent years as a management consultant advising airlines how to improve their operations.

Now, MyJet Asia chief executive Logan Ravishankar, 42, and former Unisys Singapore partner Natesan Ramesh, 54, are teaming up to start a low-cost cargo airline, My Air Cargo, delivering anything from cantaloupes to computer chips using leased Boeing 757s or 767s.

Their target markets are secondary cities that do not have enough air-cargo links to major logistics hubs such as Singapore.

Simply put, the two men want to do for cargo what AirAsia did for budget travellers.

Said Mr Ravishankar, who started out piloting airmail flights in the United States: 'We expect to submit our application for an air operator's certificate within the next 90 days.'

If things go according to plan, My Air Cargo could start its first flights next April, which would make it the second Singapore-flagged all-cargo airline, besides Singapore Airlines (SIA) Cargo.

SIA Cargo, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SIA, is the world's second-largest cargo airline. Along with the seven other cargo carriers that fly through Changi, it is likely to try to stamp on My Air Cargo with a short, decisive price war if the newcomer tackle it head-on.

Mr Ramesh is fully prepared for that.

'We're ants playing in elephants' territory. For sure the elephants will stomp on the ants, but that doesn't mean the ants will surely die,' he said.

After all, My Air Cargo is planning to target destinations that have few, if any, scheduled air-cargo services, so its operations will only strengthen Singapore's position as one of Asia's leading air logistics centres.

The new airline's two founders are hoping to raise between US$25 million (S$41.5 million) and US$30 million for the initial round of financing.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore told The Sunday Times that Mr Ravishankar had made 'general inquiries' and sought 'clarification on certain information'.

A number of new regional cargo airlines have been starting up in India and China in recent months, in tandem with the increased trade flows generated by the two booming economies.

The International Air Transport Association has forecast that all five of the fastest-growing freight markets until 2008 will be in Asia. Already some major carriers have staked their claim.

Earlier this month, SIA Cargo announced it was forming a joint-venture cargo airline in China. Rival Lufthansa Cargo has a similar joint venture with Shenzhen Airlines.

The going for My Air Cargo will undoubtedly be tough.

'It takes a very brave man to start a cargo airline at this time, with the high fuel prices and keen competition,' said Mr Nol van Fenema, editor and publisher of airfreight industry trade journal Payload Asia, 'But it might work if they are very disciplined about keeping their costs low and not going head-on with the incumbents.'

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old May 29th, 2005, 06:28 PM   #950
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27.05.05
Corporate Press Release
RYANAIR TO CARRY RECORD 380,000 PASSENGERS TO/FROM UK OVER BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND

Ryanair, Europe’s No.1 low fares airline, today (Friday, 27th May 2005) announced it will carry a bumper 380,000 passengers on its 145 UK routes this Bank Holiday Weekend*.

Speaking on the record figures this morning, Ryanair’s Head of Communications, Peter Sherrard said:

“Bank Holiday weekends are a particularly busy time for Ryanair, and this one is no different. Hundreds of thousands of UK consumers are taking advantage of Ryanair’s low fares and jetting off this Bank Holiday Weekend.

“Ryanair’s will carry almost 380,000 passengers this weekend to and from UK, as we continue to be Britain’s favourite airline. This represents a 21% increase on the 313,000 passengers we carried over the same period last year.

“Demand for Ryanair’s low fares continues unabated - and that’s because Ryanair gives you the lowest fares coupled with the best punctuality and best customer service. This year, Ryanair will carry over 34 Million passengers on our 229 routes across 20 European countries”.

*Thursday 27th May – Tuesday 31st May 2005
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Old May 30th, 2005, 06:17 AM   #951
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Ryanair must get ready for their next life after O'Leary
Dan White
29 May 2005
The Sunday Independent (Ireland)

ALTHOUGH still only 44, Michael O'Leary is the longest-serving boss of any of the 10 most valuable Irish companies. He has been Ryanair boss since the start of 1994 and was deputy CEO for three years before that.

CRH's Liam O'Mahony, AIB's Michael Buckley, IL&P's David Went and Kerry's Hugh Friel are also-rans merely trotting after O'Leary in the corporate longevity stakes.

During his 14 years with the company, Ryanair has grown from being a tiny, loss-making carrier on the brink of bankruptcy into the most valuable airline in Europe. In the process he has made himself at least €350m and restored the fortunes of the Ryan family, which originally founded Ryanair in 1985, following the collapse of aircraft leasing company GPA in 1993.

O'Leary's success at Ryanair has been based on ruthlessly eliminating costs. The frills which were once synonymous with the airline industry - in-flight meals, excessive airport charges, business class, frequent flyer programmes, fat travel agency commissions and gold-plated staff pay and conditions - have all been either drastically pruned or entirely dispensed with by Ryanair. By doing this, O'Leary has been able to cut Ryanair's fares to previously unimagined levels.

When Ryanair first flew two decades ago, the cheapest air fare between Dublin and London was £200 (€254). This week the Ryanair website was advertising flights to London for just 99¢ each way. Even when the various taxes and charges with which Ryanair loads its fares are added, the cost of flying has plummeted under O'Leary.

The results have been dramatic. Almost 28m people flew with Ryanair in the 12 months to the end of March. That's four times as many passengers as Aer Lingus carried last year, while full-year pre-tax profits for the year are likely to come in at over €270m.

Ryanair's explosive growth has made it a favourite with investors as well as passengers. Its market capitalisation of almost €4.7bn makes it Europe's most valuable airline, well ahead of the likes of BA and Lufthansa.

O'Leary has made an enormous contribution to the growth of Ryanair. He hasn't been afraid to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty. Whether it be bolshie trade unions, dithering politicians or expensive airports, O'Leary has never been shy about putting the boot in.

Since 1994 O'Leary has been a one-man publicity campaign. Who needs a marketing department when old motormouth can grab the headlines just about whenever he wants? In Ryanair's 2003 annual report O'Leary was famously photographed dressed as a French maid. It's a fair bet that no other Irish chief executive would willingly be photographed publicly in similar attire.

While some of O'Leary's japes have been merely juvenile, at times his instincts have been inspired. In the immediate aftermath of September 11, when most of the West's other airlines were grounding their fleets, O'Leary instead launched his 'Let's fight back' advertising campaign. By aggressively cutting fares O'Leary was able to persuade nervous passengers to start flying once again.

O'Leary's approach to politicians has also been unique. Not for him the low-key, discreet lobbying favoured by most other chief executives. When former Communications Minister Mary O'Rourke didn't deliver a second privately-owned terminal at Dublin Airport, O'Leary launched a merciless media campaign lampooning her.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has also been at the receiving end of O'Leary's invective. In the run-up to the Government's recent decision on a second terminal at Dublin Airport, the newspapers were full of Ryanair advertisements ridiculing 'dithering Bertie'.

However, with almost a dozen Fianna Fail seats north of the Liffey, there was no way Ahern was going to give O'Leary a privately-owned second terminal, no matter how much money Ryanair spent on attack advertising.

O'Leary's in-your-face approach has also failed to impress the European Commission. When the EC began legal proceedings against Ryanair for the sweetheart deal it had negotiated with the Walloon local government to use Charleroi airport south of Brussels, O'Leary went on the warpath.

Fat lot of good it did him. The EC refused to be intimidated and forced Ryanair to renegotiate the Charleroi deal. The spats with Ahern and the EU illustrate the limitations of the O'Leary approach. His no-holds-barred style needlessly turned potential friends into enemies.

Backed into a corner by Ryanair, Ahern was never going to concede to O'Leary's demands on the second terminal. Likewise, with the Commission actively signalling that it was open to a compromise on Charleroi, O'Leary instead gave it to the EC with both barrels.

If it hadn't been for O'Leary, Ryanair would never have been the success that it has become. For many years O'Leary was Ryanair. If he had walked under a bus any time over the past eight years, the share price would have collapsed.

Not any more. While it is still growing rapidly, Ryanair is now a big company. Over the next five or six years the 20 per cent annual growth rate in passenger numbers is going to slow dramatically.

The job of managing a small, rapidly growing company, at which O'Leary has excelled, is very different from that of managing a large, mature one. Somehow I cannot see O'Leary happy in an established company. It would be better for both Ryanair and O'Leary to prepare for an amicable parting of the waysbefore that happens.
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Old May 31st, 2005, 07:47 PM   #952
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Irish budget airline Ryanair reports stronger-than-expected profits
By SHAWN POGATCHNIK
31 May 2005

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) - Irish budget airline Ryanair reported better-than-expected profits Tuesday, citing its stringent cost controls and continued growth in passenger numbers and routes across western Europe.

For the full year ending March 31, the Dublin-based airline said its net profit rose 29 percent to €266.7 million (US$330.7 million) from €206.6 million in fiscal 2004 -- about 10 percent better than most analysts expected. Revenues rose 24 percent to €1.34 billion (US$1.66 billion) from €1.07 billion last year.

Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said European flag-carrier airlines were reducing their services "in markets where they compete with Ryanair." He said Ryanair also was expanding into eastern Europe and raising pressure on its main no-frills rival: the Luton, England-based easyJet.

"We have been most encouraged by the strong advance bookings at our new Luton and Liverpool bases, where passengers are looking for an alternative to easyJet's high prices," he said.

"Recently we announced five new routes from London to Poland and Slovakia and expect that these will be the first in a series of new route announcements over the coming weeks for next winter," he said.

O'Leary predicted an even better 2006 for the airline, which was launched 20 years ago operating a single route between London and the southeast Irish city of Waterford. Today it operates 220 routes in 19 countries.

"If our competitors continue to maintain (fuel) surcharges or continue to remove capacity from our markets, then yields should be more stable, even as we continue to expand," he said.

"Advance bookings for the summer months are strong, and we are raising our traffic growth forecast for the coming year from 34 million to 35 million," he said.

Ryanair's shares rose 5.6 percent in afternoon trade on the Irish Stock Exchange to €6.60 (US$8.20).

Analysts agreed that Ryanair appeared poised for continued growth and would benefit from unusually shrewd forward planning.

They cited Ryanair's February deal with Boeing for at least 70 new 737-800 aircraft -- locking in the U.S. dollar's near-record weakness versus the euro -- and the airline's advance purchase of 75 percent of its winter fuel requirements at rates equivalent to US$47 a barrel. Oil was trading Tuesday near US$52 a barrel.

"They're pretty good numbers all round. The trading statement is pretty bullish as well," said analyst Shane Matthews at NCB Stockbrokers in Dublin.

Joe Gill, an analyst for Goodbody Stockbrokers in Dublin, said Ryanair's "bookings are exceptionally strong. With their orders for Boeing already in, it's hard to see how they're going to show profits weakness over the next year."
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Old June 1st, 2005, 03:39 AM   #953
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Passengers suffered mid-air oxygen crisis, probe reveals
Don Lavery and Allison Bray
31 May 2005
Irish Independent

FLIGHT crew aboard a Ryanair flight from Spain had to don oxygen masks while passengers were starved of oxygen as the aircraft cabin depressurised, an official investigation into the incident has been told.

Some flight crew members reported sharp pains in their ears and eyes, forcing them to don oxygen masks to fly the Boeing 737 loaded with 116 passengers and crew on its way to Dublin, which then had to make an emergency descent and land in Biarritz, on November 3, 2004. The passengers who showed signs of hypoxia - oxygen starvation - including laughing and dizziness, had failed to put on their oxygen masks, a company representative sitting in the cabin told an Air Accident Investigation Unit inquiry.

The report said the then 22-year-old plane had taken off from Reus in Spain in November 2004 and the captain was asked by Ryanair's ground-handling agent to speed up his departure because of the arrival of another Ryanair plane from Frankfurt.

The report found that an after-take-off checklist supposed to be completed by the flight crew was not fully accomplished, and the aircraft took off without being properly pressurised. However, the aircraft was able to land safely at Biarritz with no injuries to the crew and passengers. But the inspectors noted the incident was potentially very serious.

"When an un-pressurised aircraft climbs to altitude, the effects of hypoxia can be quite subtle and insidious as the body will attempt to acclimatise to the altitude change," the report read.

"A flight crew operating under a high workload on the flight deck may not fully appreciate or recognise the initial symptoms of hypoxia. It is therefore possible that judgment may be impaired to such an extent that corrective action associated with dealing with an emergency situation may lead to an incorrect or inappropriate response . . . The very nature of hypoxia itself is such that the pilot can become the poorest judge of when he or she is suffering from its insidious effects."

While corrective measures were taken during the incident to counteract the effect of depressurisation by making an emergency landing, the report noted extreme hypoxia - including convulsions, coma and possible death - can occur at an altitude of just 20,000 feet.

However, the report noted that the response by the cabin crew members to the emergency situation over Spain had been "appropriate and professional", and that Ryanair had been "pro-active" in heightening awareness of possible "traps" associated with the operation of the pressurisation system.

Ryanair said it had co-operated with the AAIU probe and immediately implemented its findings.
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Old June 1st, 2005, 07:22 PM   #954
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Ryanair: Likely To Take Additional Options On Boeing Jets
31 May 2005

LONDON (Dow Jones)--Irish budget airline Ryanair Holdings PLC (RYAAY) is likely to exercise options on additional 737 airplanes made by Boeing Co. (BA), Chief Executive Officer Michael O'Leary said Tuesday.

"I expect we will be taking additional options," O'Leary said at a news conference in London. Under an existing plane contract with Boeing, Ryanair has options for about 20 more aircraft for delivery in 2007 and 2008.

O'Leary said a final decision on whether to take the options will be made by June.

At the end of March 2005, Ryanair had just over 90 planes in its fleet and this is expected to rise to around 115 by the end of March next year.
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 06:59 AM   #955
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We'll fly more people than BA this summer, says Ryanair
Andrew Clark
01 June 2005
The Guardian

Ryanair has predicted it will fly past British Airways' passenger numbers this summer in a "very significant milestone" for the 20-year-old budget airline.

Already Europe's largest low-cost carrier, Ryanair has experienced a surge in demand recently as travellers have sought to avoid fuel surcharges imposed on tickets by its rivals.

The airline yesterday announced a 30% rise in annual pre-tax profits to euros 295m (pounds 200m) and increased its traffic forecast for the year to March 2006 from 34m to 35m passengers.

Michael O'Leary, the chief executive, said monthly traffic figures for Ryanair's network of 229 European routes would pass BA's headcount for its entire global operation. "This will be a very significant milestone for a small Irish airline that only started flying in 1985," he said.

According to the two airlines' latest statistics, BA's passenger numbers fell by 3.4% year-on-year to 2.92m in April, while Ryanair's traffic jumped by 24% to 2.65m. BA, however, pointed out that Ryanair includes "no shows" in its statistics, which are typically as high as 8% of customers industry-wide, while other airlines leave them out. A BA spokesman said: "We only count people who actually travel on our airline."

Ryanair's profits appeared to show its policy of avoiding any fuel surcharge on its tickets has paid off. The airline's average fare edged up by 2% to euros 41, suggesting it was filling seats without having to offer too many rock-bottom prices.

Mr O'Leary said the strength of demand had "somewhat surprised" him: "We attribute much of it to competitors' fuel levies. We've also been tremendously heartened by the rapid traffic growth at the new bases we've launched this year."

The airline said route launches had been particularly strong from Liverpool and Luton, where Ryanair is competing head-on with easyJet. Its shares rose by 2.8% to euros 6.49.

Stephen Furlong, an airlines analyst at Davy Stockbrokers in Dublin, said: "BA's fuel levy of pounds 6 on every ticket amounts to more than 20% of Ryanair's average fare. It is a consideration for travellers."

Ryanair's fleet will grow from 92 to 115 aircraft this year. The airline intends to announce at least one additional base, adding to its existing 12 hubs. Mr O'Leary predicted that Ryanair would overtake the recently merged combination of Air France and KLM by 2012, to become the biggest airline in Europe.

Mr O'Leary renewed his attack on BAA's plans to spend pounds 4bn expanding Stansted airport.

He described the proposals as "absolute bloody lunacy", suggesting a second runway and additional infrastructure could be built for pounds 400m.
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 12:40 AM   #956
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easyJet adds 5 new summer routes
2 June 2005

LONDON (AFX) - Low-cost airline easyJet, is adding five new summer routes to its network.

The airline with fly to Faro in Portugal from Belfast commencing July 16, and to Spanish island Ibiza from Newcastle and Liverpool, commencing July 24 and 24 respectively.

easyJet currently serves these destinations from other UK airports.

Additionally, it will also fly to Mahon in Menorca for the first time, starting flights from Gatwick on July 21 and Bristol on July 23.

These five new routes will take the total number of easyJet routes on offer to 210 to 63 airports throughout Europe and will operate during the peak summer months from mid July to early September.

Gatwick will also see an increase in frequencies this summer on routes to Marseille and Athens to meet the increased seasonal demand, easyjet added.
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 12:46 AM   #957
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Ryanair Carried 2.90M Passengers In May Vs 2.17M
2 June 2005
Edited Press Release

LONDON (Dow Jones)--Ryanair said Thursday that in May 2005 it carried 2,904,939 passengers, compared to 2,170,381 passengers in May 2004. For the rolling 12 months to May 31, it carried 28,842,791 passengers.

Load factor increased to 82% from 81% for for the rolling 12 months was 84%. Internet sales percentage rose to 98% from 97% and for the rolling 12 months was 97%.
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 03:42 PM   #958
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Ryanair pilot's suspension was vindictive, court told
2 June 2005
Irish Independent

A LAWYER for a senior pilot who is seeking a number of orders against Ryanair claimed in the High Court yesterday that the airline's decision to suspend him from flying was a vindictive act when there was overwhelming evidence that he was fit to fly.

Roddy Horan, SC, for Capt John Goss (51) of Malahide, Co Dublin, said Ryanair had breached his client's constitutional rights to natural justice and was in breach of legislation on disciplinary procedures.

The company made serious claims in a letter initiating disciplinary action on December 10, 2004, from David O'Brien, the company's director of flight and ground operations.

The letter said Ryanair had received a "number of complaints from pilots based at Stansted, alleging that you have made telephone calls warning pilots not to accept positions on the new 737-800 aircraft based here in Dublin".

Yet basic information about the complaints was never furnished by Ryanair, Mr Horan said.

Ryanair's suspension of Mr Goss on April 12, 2005 was the clear manifestation of the firm's bad faith. There was no lawful basis for the suspension in Ryanair's own disciplinary procedures. There was clear evidence Mr Goss was fit to fly and the suspension was a vindictive act.

Mr Goss is seeking an injunction restraining the company from continuing with the disciplinary procedure against him.

Ryanair denies the claims made against them.

The hearing continues.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 05:32 AM   #959
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Ryanair and pilot 'have an opening'
John Maddock
4 June 2005
Irish Independent

THE High Court judge hearing the dispute between Ryanair and one of its senior pilots suggested yesterday there was "a small opening for people to steady themselves and take a look at their long-term best interests".

Mr Justice Declan Budd said that, if it was going to be left to him to decide the dispute, it was a decision which could have a serious effect on people's lives and their business and that this would apply to both sides.

If there was any basis for discussions which might lead to an outcome benefitting both sides, he urged that they take such an opportunity, because "airlines need pilots and pilots need airlines".

Captain John Goss, of Malahide, Co Dublin, claims Ryanair made serious allegations in a letter that he intimidated other pilots at Stansted airport, warning them not to accept positions on the company's new Boeing 737-800s based in Dublin.

He claimed the company alleged he failed to co-operate and had initiated disciplinary proceedings against him. He also alleged the company, without notice, suspended him from duty and that he was reinstated following other High Court proceedings.

The company denies the captain's claims.

In evidence yesterday, Capt Goss, said that at a meeting on December 23, 2004, the matter of the Ryanair European Pilots Association (REPA) web site was introduced by management representatives.

He knew of the website but had not visited it and was not a member of it. It was stated there was a question of intimidation involving REPA.

He declined to view documents produced by the company as he believed the subject of REPA was outside the remit of the meeting.

Continuing his evidence, Capt Goss said the company was suggesting intimidation was being conducted on an organised basis.

He reiterated to them on a number of occasions he had no knowledge of, and was or would not be involved in, any intimidation.

"Indeed, I made it very clear to them my belief that any intimidation among a pilot group could lead to problems on a flight deck and I would not condone or tolerate such activity." The hearing continues on Tuesday.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 07:09 PM   #960
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easyJet plans new German hub next spring
5 June 2005

FRANKFURT (AFX) - EasyJet PLC plans to open a new German hub next spring and will expand the number of flights from the airports it already serves, John Kohlsaat, president of the company's German operations, told Tagesspiegel am Sonntag.

He said EasyJet was currently in negotiations with several airports, but declined to state which locations were under consideration.

'The north and south are not being served, while Dortmund gives us a good position in the west, but even there we have to make a decision in the mid-term whether there aren't also other possibilities,' Kohlsaat told the newspaper.

He also said EasyJet plans to station up to eight new aircraft in Germany next year.
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