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Old November 6th, 2005, 07:52 PM   #1121
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Independent
November 6, 2005
Easy Does It 10 Years Flying High
easyJet Didn't Invent Low-Cost Flights, But Its Arrival on the Scene

Ian Taylor

READY, STEADY, SHUTE: EasyJet staff are taught how to use an evacuation slide at the company's new training academy

Passengers on easyJet's mid-morning flight from Luton to Glasgow on Thursday can expect champagne and a greeting from the founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou to celebrate the anniversary of the airline's take-off 10 years ago. It has come a long way from the two leased aircraft, single PC and three phones with which it began.

EasyJet might not have invented low-cost air travel, but it was the first UK airline to sell exclusively to consumers and the first to offer flights online. More important, it helped to force airlines such as British Airways to slash fares and open the skies to millions.

Tim Jeans understands the low-fare revolution better than most. Now managing director of Monarch Scheduled Airlines, he was sales and marketing director at easyJet's low-cost rival, Ryanair, for seven years.

'EasyJet changed the way people travel and the way major carriers behave,' he said. 'It competed on big routes to Barcelona and Rome as well as flying from regional airports, and it made a range of other airlines think that this business model could work. Ryanair appealed to a different constituency, bringing air travel to Irish people who had previously spent four hours on a boat, and opening destinations that were not on anyone's radar.'

According to Simon Evans, chief executive of the Air Transport Users Council, it is the range of airports easyJet flies from that makes it special. 'It spread the benefits of low-fare flights to the regions,' he said. 'And together with Ryanair, it got the major carriers to drop the requirement of a Saturday-night stay to obtain a cheaper fare. That was a huge service to passengers.'

It may be low-cost, but easyJet was never short of money. Founder Haji- Ioannou is the son of a Greek shipping magnet. Yet the rapid expansion was not fuelled by a Roman Abramovich-style spending spree: the airline has consistently turned in a profit. EasyJet carried just 30,000 passengers in 1995, expanding beyond the UK the following year and launching flights from Stansted in 1998. Its takeover of BA's former low-cost airline Go in 2002 took easyJet into Gatwick, and last year it added a base in Berlin. In the year to the end of September, it carried more than 29.5 million passengers.

The airline is not the only low-cost success story: Ryanair consistently reports bigger profits. But while Ryanair has pursued a policy, in chief executive Michael O'Leary's words, of flying to 'whatever airport provides the best package', Haji-Ioannou has ensured easyJet goes 'to proper places'.

An easyJet spokesman played down the rivalry between the two. But Jeans has a different view, despite the pair competing directly on only 2 per cent and 3 per cent of routes. 'They compete head-to-head for the discretionary traveller " the guy with £50-£60 who wants to go somewhere for the weekend " and that competition is seriously aggressive,' he said.

Haji-Ioannou and his family still own 41 per cent of the airline, and analysts believe they will resist a possible takeover by Icelandair, which now holds a 15 per cent stake.

EasyJet has refused to add a oil surcharge to fares. The spokesman said: 'We have taken costs out of the business elsewhere.' But it has yet to go anywhere near the cost-cutting of Ryanair, which has stripped the reclining seats, headrests, window blinds and seat pockets from its new aircraft.

So easyJet can celebrate its 10th birthday with this endorsement from Simon Evans: 'It is a step up from the bargain basement.'
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Old November 7th, 2005, 06:41 PM   #1122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey
Rolling 12 month passenger totals to September 2005:
EasyJet = 29,557,640
Ryanair = 31,617,926

Percentage increase in passengers since September 2004:
EasyJet = 21.4%
Ryanair = 27%

Load factor (ie percentage bums on seats) in September 2005:
EasyJet = 86.4%
Ryanair = 87%
Rolling 12 month passenger totals to October 2005:
EasyJet = 29,887,498
Ryanair = 32,180,320

Percentage increase in passengers since October 2004:
EasyJet = 20.4%
Ryanair = 23%

Load factor (ie percentage bums on seats) in October 2005:
EasyJet = 85.1%
Ryanair = 85%


EasyJet will surely pass the 30 million pax pa mark next month whilst Ryanair are now closing the gap on BA with more than 32 million pax pa!

Last edited by Monkey; November 7th, 2005 at 06:46 PM.
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Old November 8th, 2005, 06:25 AM   #1123
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Ryanair 2Q Net Pft +17%, Keeps FY Pft View
7 November 2005
By Rod Stone

LONDON (Dow Jones)--Irish no-frills airline Ryanair Holdings PLC (RYAAY) Monday posted a 17% rise in second quarter net profit as improved average fares helped offset a rising fuel bill. The company also maintained its full year profit guidance.

For the three months to Sept. 30, net profit rose to EUR172.5 million from EUR148.1 million a year earlier, as sales increased 32% to EUR541.5 million. The net profit figure was just ahead of the EUR171 million analysts had expected.

Average fares, a closely watched performance figure, rose 3% on the year in the seasonally-strong quarter as the airline benefitted indirectly from fuel surcharges placed on tickets by full-service airlines like British Airways PLC (BAB). These surcharges mean budget airlines don't need to discount their airfares so much.

Ryanair carried a total of 9.5 million passengers in the quarter, up 28% from a year earlier, and is expecting to transport over 35 million passengers this financial year. The quarterly figures were helped by increased volumes on existing routes and the launch of new bases at Luton, Liverpool and Shannon. Ryanair is Europe's largest budget airline by number of passengers carried.

Looking forward, Ryanair said it still expects average fares to be flat in the third quarter and down by 5-10% in the fourth quarter. It said it remains cautious going forward but retained its guidance for net profit in the year to March 31, 2006.

The airline expects full year net profit to rise about 10% to just over EUR300 million, according to Chief Financial Officer Howard Millar.

During the quarter, Ryanair's fuel and oil bill rose sharply to EUR127 million, from EUR62 million a year earlier. For the rest of the year, the airline is 90% hedged at rates equivalent to $49 a barrel of oil. The carrier is unhedged after this but said it will continue to closely monitor forward prices with a view to hedging its requirements for the summer of 2006.

Ryanair shares fell on the report and by 0850 GMT were down EUR0.27, or 3.9%, at EUR6.710 in London, underperforming a higher broader market. The stock has enjoyed a strong run over the past six months.

John Lawson, an analyst with Investec Securities in London, said the profits were broadly as expected while the yield outlook is pretty much a reiteration. "I can't see anything that was new in there," he said. Investec doesn't have a formal recommendation on Ryanair.

Speaking on CNBC Europe television, Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said he expects fuel and oil costs over the second half to be about double what they were a year earlier. The carrier was unhedged on fuel for the key summer months, he added.

Ancillary, or non-ticket, revenues rose 36% to EUR71 million in the quarter. These include commissions on hotel and car hire bookings and is an area that Ryanair is looking to raise with planned initiatives like in-flight entertainment and gambling.

Meanwhile, Europe's number two budget carrier easyJet PLC (EZJ.LN) of the U.K. Monday said it carried 2.7 million passengers in October, up 13.7% from 2.4 million a year earlier. At 0906 GMT, easyJet shares were down 1.3% at 298.75 pence in London, also underperforming the market. The company will report fiscal year results and give an outlook Nov. 22.

Ryanair carried 3.0 million passengers in October, up 23% from a year earlier.
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Old November 8th, 2005, 12:19 PM   #1124
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Business Times - 08 Nov 2005

Valuair dedicated to just S'pore-Indonesia routes

It drops services to Hong Kong, China, Australia and Thailand

By VEN SREENIVASAN

(SINGAPORE) Valuair, which was taken over by Qantas-controlled Orange Star some months ago, has become a dedicated Singapore-Indonesia carrier.

The airline recently dropped its much publicised services to the Chinese cities of Chengdu and Xiamen. Around the same time, it also quietly dropped its services to the West Australian city of Perth. Last month, it scrapped services to Bangkok and Hong Kong.

This leaves Valuair with thrice-weekly services to the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, and daily services to Surabaya in central Java.

Valuair also secured traffic rights to serve the Indonesian resort island of Bali, but its chief executive Ken Ryan says flights will start after some technical issues, including some local permits, are sorted out.

Mr Ryan yesterday confirmed that the discount carrier was focusing on the Indonesian market and hinted that it could seek more routes in the populous country.

All this comes just months after Valuair was taken over by a Qantas-led group of investors after running out of cash following a tough first year of operation.

Together with Qantas' equally-troubled Singapore-based low cost carrier JetStar Asia, Valuair was placed under a holding company - Orange Star - which is 44.5 per cent owned by Qantas. Other investors include Temasek Holdings, Star Cruises and various original shareholders in both carriers.

Speaking to BT when the restructuring was taking place in July, Mr Ryan insisted that both airlines would remain as separate and distinct operating units under Orange Star banner.

'We plan to grow the two airlines, their management structures and route networks,' he told BT then. ''It gives us two arrows for a single bow.' But when he spoke to BT yesterday, Mr Ryan hinted that both airlines could ultimately be operationally merged. 'We don't intend to have two brands indefinitely,' he said.

A full merger might present its own set of problems in places like Indonesia which has slapped a blanket ban on foreign low cost carriers like JetStar Asia and Tiger Airways. But Indonesia considers Valuair a full service discount carrier and thus allows it to fly into its cities.

Although JetStar Asia may be poised to move up the discount carrier model as it starts tying up interline deals with full service carriers like Myanmar Airways (and soon with Qantas), it is still considered a low cost carrier by the Indonesian authorities.

Meanwhile, Orange Star is moving ahead to impose some form of operational uniformity across its two carriers. Valuair's pilots and staff have been asked to sign new pay contracts, or leave. Mr Ryan said this was necessary as remuneration structures at Valuair were much higher than at JetStar Asia.

'Where people are doing the same jobs, we will put them on the same remuneration packages,' he said, revealing that some administrative functions had been merged, resulting in some retrenchments.

The restructuring has not gone down well with many of Valuair's pilots and cabin crew.

'A significant number of cabin crew and pilots did not accept the new terms and have resigned,' Mr Ryan said.

It was earlier reported that 10 Valuair employees from flight operations and administration have been retrenched, with 30 others being given the choice of accepting the new pay package or be retrenched. An airline with just three routes might be happy with this.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old November 8th, 2005, 05:32 PM   #1125
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O'Leary wants four more years as Ryanair profits surge ahead
By Michael Harrison
Business Editor
8 November 2005
The Independent

Michael O'Leary, the chief executive of Ryanair, yesterday committed himself to the no-frills airline for a further three to four years at least as it reported record first-half profits despite the surge in fuel prices.

Mr O'Leary, who has run the Irish carrier since 1994, said it would take that long to sort out problems at its two biggest bases " Dublin airport and Stansted, where Ryanair is in dispute with BAA over proposals to spend up to £4bn on a new runway and associated facilities.

He said that unless Ryanair could come to some agreement with BAA over the cost of the Stansted expansion " the airline thinks the new runway could be built for £400m-£600m " he would seriously consider bypassing BAA by checking in passengers outside the airport and bussing them direct to the runway.

The airline, which reported a 22 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to EUR269.5m (£182.3m) for the six months to the end of September, will carry 35 million passengers this year, making it the biggest international scheduled carrier in the world. It plans to double in size and profitability over the next five years, flying 70 million passengers by 2012 from 30 European bases compared with 15 at present.

Mr O'Leary, 44, had always said he would re-consider his position when he achieved his target of overtaking Lufthansa as Europe's biggest carrier. Yesterday he said: 'I have no plans to move on at the moment but some time in the next four to five years, yes, it will be time.'

He said that by then Ryanair would be one of only four airlines that mattered in Europe " the others being Air France, British Airways and Lufthansa " and would need to have a different relationship with institutions such as the European Commission that befitted its size and importance.

'The airline will have to become more professional in the way it approaches decision making and more sensitive to environmental whingeing and the goon platoons and that certainly won't be me,' he said.

He was speaking as Ryanair forecast that yields " or average fares " would fall by 5 to 10 per cent in the fourth quarter after rising 3 per cent in the first half of the year. 'We continue to remain cautious in our outlook for the remainder of the fiscal year,' Mr O'Leary said. 'This winter we expect there to be continued intense competition and there will be fewer low-fare carriers in the market as higher fuel prices force more carriers out of the industry.' Ryanair shares slipped 3 per cent to EUR6.79.

Ryanair's fuel costs rose 108 per cent in the first half to EUR237m, resulting in an 8 per cent increase in unit costs. Excluding fuel, unit costs were down 7 per cent. Ryanair's fuel purchases were unhedged for most of the period but for the remainder of the year it has fixed 90 per cent of its requirements at $49 a barrel.

Ancillary revenues from services such as on-board sales, car hire and travel insurance increased by 40 per cent, accounting for 13 per cent of the EUR946m in total income the airline generated. Mr O'Leary said Ryanair planned a big push to increase revenues from hotel bookings.

The airline is in talks with two budget hotel operators about developing new hotels next to airports served by Ryanair. In return for guaranteeing customers, Ryanair would take a cut of the room tariffs. As an example, Mr O'Leary cited its base at Barcelona Girona, where passenger numbers are forecast to double to 10 million in the next five years. He said it had two hotels but needed a further three.
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Old November 9th, 2005, 02:18 AM   #1126
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Ryanair has for years now been the world's most profitable airline.
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Old November 9th, 2005, 11:35 AM   #1127
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09 November 2005

Tiger Airways to launch Australian flights in December

SINGAPORE : Tiger Airways will begin flights to Australia with the launch on December 19 of a four-times weekly service to the city of Darwin, the Singapore-based budget carrier said on Wednesday.

Fares for a one-way trip to Darwin, the capital of Australia's Northern Territory state, will start from S$49.98 (US$29.40) excluding taxes, the carrier said in a statement.

Ticket sales for the route will start on Thursday.

"We are excited to launch new low fare flights to yet another country in the Asia-Pacific region ... there is strong demand for affordable flights to Australia from Asia," said Tiger Airways chief executive Tony Davis.

The Northern Territory's chief minister Clare Martin said the launch of the new service will draw more Asian tourists to the Australian state, which boasts of some of the world's greatest natural attractions, including Ayers Rock or Uluru.

"This gives the Northern Territory a huge opportunity to tap into the new Asian markets of Singapore, Macau, Thailand, India, Vietnam and Southern China," Martin said.

"It will help us to deliver more tourists in our off peak seasons at very attractive rates."

Tiger Airways, 49-percent owned by Singapore Airlines, has been rapidly expanding its network since starting commercial flights in September 2004.

The carrier now flies from Singapore to 10 destinations in Asia including Bangkok, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phuket and Clark Field north of Manila. - AFP/de

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old November 10th, 2005, 03:58 PM   #1128
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LOL, its funny to see Valuair as a dedicated Singapore - Indonesia route carrier, their profit seems quite good in that routes since no other Singaporean budget carrier flying that route(sin-jkt and sin-sby). On top of that, many Indonesian travel agents are using Valuair to offer the customers a good offer of travel prices. I think Valuair should consider to be an Indonesian carrier, so they can fly for Indonesia domestic routes.

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Old November 11th, 2005, 04:51 PM   #1129
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Ryanair to invest 1.0 bln dlrs in Frankfurt Hahn airport

LONDON, Nov 11 (AFP) - Ryanair, Europe's largest low-cost airline, said on Friday that it planned to invest 1.0 billion dollars (855 million euros) in new aircraft at its Frankfurt Hahn airport base in Germany, that would lead to the creation of 8,000 jobs there by 2012.

As a result of the investment to begin next year, Ryanair said it would have 18 aircraft based at Hahn, that would serve 8.0 million passengers per year and more than 50 routes.

The investment would transform Frankfurt Hahn into Ryanair's second-biggest airport base, overtaking Dublin, and into Germany's eighth-biggest airport, it added in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

Ryanair said also that it would loan 12.5 million euros (14.6 million dollars) to fund 50 percent of Hahn's new passenger terminal.

"Between 2006 and 2012, Ryanair is committed to an investment of 1.0 billion dollars in new aircraft at Frankfurt Hahn," chief executive Michael O'Leary said in the statement.

"With over 50 routes, 8.0 million passengers and 8,000 jobs this is the single biggest investment in German aviation by a non-German company and will make Frankfurt Hahn one of the largest airports in Germany and Germany's fastest growing airport," he added.

Ryanair's share price rose 1.58 percent to 7.08 euros in late morning deals in Dublin following the announcement, while the Irish Overall Index was 0.14-percent lower at 6,734.21 points.

News of the investment comes after the airline on Monday reported an 18-percent rise in first-half net profit to a record 237 million euros, as a jump in passengers and ticket prices helped to offset soaring fuel costs.

Revenues rose by a third to 946.2 million euros during its first half, while the number of passengers climbed 29 percent to 18 million.

Ryanair operates 267 routes across 21 Europeancountries, employing 2,700 staff. By the end of March 2006, it will operate a fleet of 107 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft, with orders for a further 127 to be delivered over the next seven years.

The additional aircraft would allow Ryanair to double in size to over 70 million passengers per year by 2012, the airline has said.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 04:54 PM   #1130
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EasyJet 'struggling in Scotland because of high charges'
Craig Brown
11 November 2005
The Scotsman

RAY Webber, the chief executive of EasyJet, yesterday claimed the low-cost airline has been unable to make its Scottish services profitable because of high landing charges imposed on it by airport authorities.

Speaking at Glasgow Airport on the tenth birthday of the airline, Mr Webber said efforts to establish services had not been successful.

"We've tried a number of services over the last five years or so, and they've been very disappointing," he said. "All it does is reiterate the same message to be learned from our early days of EasyJet - the model worked because you dramatically reduced the prices and more people wanted to fly. So unless you can do that, it's not going to work."

EasyJet recently said it would be ending one of its few international routes from Glasgow to Amsterdam. However, a rival, Flyglobespan, has since stepped in to establish a service to the Dutch capital.

Mr Webber blamed EasyJet's problems on BAA - the airport operator - which kept landing charges high, forcing up fares.

However, a BAA spokesman disagreed. He said: "If our charges are good enough for Globespan, Continental and all the other airlines offering direct international services from Scotland, why aren't they good enough for EasyJet?"
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Old November 12th, 2005, 12:06 AM   #1131
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I have just booked some Ryanair flights now:


London Stansted to Krakow
Wednesday 11th January
- Depart London Stansted 06:10
- Arrive Krakow 09:35
£15.59 including all taxes and bills

Bratislava Vienna to London Stansted
Sunday 15th January
- Depart Bratislava Vienna 20:45
- Arrive London Stansted 22:00
£12.40 including all taxes and bills


That makes a total of £27.99 return for my little jaunt to Krakow, Bratsilava, and Vienna (€41.59).
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Old November 12th, 2005, 12:30 AM   #1132
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I have been looking at Ryanair's Christmas period specials and I haven't found anything appealingly cheap. Otherwise I would make it to the UK again for the holiday. Perhaps the next few days will give me a surprise.
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Old November 12th, 2005, 04:18 PM   #1133
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It's easy as you go for EasyJet's entrepreneur Henry Tricks take a bus ride with Stelios Haji-Ioannou and listens to his views and hopes for the future of his business empire.
By HENRY TRICKS
12 November 2005
Financial Times

On a drizzly morning this week, Stelios Haji-Ioannou stood at a London bus stop, waiting for an EasyBus to take him to Luton airport.

At Pounds 3, the cost of thejourney was less than the Starbucks coffee and pain au chocolat that a passenger was clutching.

Exactly 10 years before, when it was also "pissing with rain", Stelios recalls waiting in a seedy terminal at Luton airport to take the maiden EasyJet flight to Glasgow.

At the time, he advertised the flight as costing as little as "a pair of jeans". The two women who checked in the passengers that day are still employed by EasyJet with share options that could mean they never have to work again.

At the time, Stelios says his ambition was short term - "survival". But in the years since, EasyJet - along with rival Ryanair and other low-cost carriers - has transformed air travel in Europe and the lifestyles of many of the Continent's citizens.

Like 38-year-old Stelios, who flies EasyJet to Nice each Friday on his way home to Monaco, North Europeans who work in the rain can now weekend in the Mediterranean sun.

Passengers can buy tickets online, no longer needing travel agents. Cheap travel has improved familiarity among Europeans, Stelios believes, forging friendships and even marriages.

Yet this son of a Greek- Cypriot shipping tycoon appears to have changed little since, as a preppy 28-year-old, he spent a year in Luton to ensure EasyJet's successful launch.

On Thursday, he boarded the cramped EasyBus minibus for the 45-minute journey to Luton, fighting with the seatbelt that squeezed against his robust frame.

There were only half a dozen passengers paying Pounds 3 each, which would barely have paid for the petrol. But he talked enthusiastically of his plans to franchise the EasyBus brand to coach operators around Europe.

The next day he was due to fly to the Caribbean to launch his EasyCruise, building the Easy brand in the Americas.

His mind was also working overtime on how to make the transatlantic crossing profitable for the orange-liveried cruise ship. Perhaps he would offer poker on crossings, he said - though he openly wondered whether association with gambling could tarnish his brand.

With a youthful sense of principle, he was even choosy about who would fly him across the Atlantic.

He still prefers not to fly British Airways, with whom he has publicly battled for years - partly, he admits, as an attention-grabbing exercise. Instead, he flew Virgin Atlantic, owned by his role model and friend, Sir Richard Branson.

Stelios, who describes himself on his business card as a "serial entrepreneur", has an articulate, if restless, way of talking. His business affairs are similarly fast-paced.

In EasyJet's early years, he paid such close attention to the airline that, when snow grounded its flights at Luton, he would travel there to cheer up passengers. But once it had moved out of survival mode with its flotation in 2000, he focused on bringing brand building and "yield management" - his two specialisations - to the rest of his Easy empire.

With his eye on the potential of the internet, he acquired several thousand internet domain names, even wayward ones such as EasyAtlantic. These, he believes, could be businesses of the future - though he remains dubious about no-frills transatlantic travel.

His career, which began with his father in shipping, has been anything but plain- sailing. Several of his EasyGroup businesses, such as EasyInternetcafe and EasyCar, the car rental company, had teething problems - he admits he rolled out internet cafes far too quickly and has had to bail some ventures out with his own money.

Some are still tiny despite much nurturing, including Milton Keynes-based Easy-Pizza (favourite pizza, "El Stel") and EasyBus, which he once expected to rival national companies.

But while he says EasyGroup has recently become cash flow positive thanks to licenses and franchises, including EasyJet's license payment for the use of the brand, he appears to thrive on adversity.

"I get bored when things go well and move on,"Stelios says.

Now is no time for Stelios to be bored. In 2002, he stepped back from EasyJet to focus on EasyCinemas and to bring the internet cafes back from the brink, appointing Sir Colin Chandler as replacement chairman of EasyJet. In 2004, he sold 4m shares in EasyJet at 370p to 380p to fund the cruise ship, a budget hotel and the buses.

But he remained an insider to the airline's affairs, with a board representative, and was horrified to see the impact on EasyJet shares from two profit warnings in rapid succession.

His insider status frustrated his efforts to buy the ailing shares last year.

Then, in October 2004, he was shocked to find an Icelandic airline company, FL Group, climbing up the EasyJet share register, having bought shares as cheap as 120p.

Led by Hannes Smarason, who has also bought Copenhagen-based Sterling Airways, Europe's fourth-largest low-cost airline, FL Group's interest in EasyJet has triggered bid speculation.

Last month, its stake increased to 16.2 per cent, just shy of Stelios' own 16.6 per cent (though his brother and sister own 12 per cent each). The shares are back above 300p.

For once, Stelios appears to have found in Mr Smarason a businessman as impetuous as he is. It leaves him sounding a bit flat-footed, even if he has already retaken a seat on the board to keep a close eye on affairs. "I have to congratulate them on their timing," he says of the Icelanders. "But I have not studied the FL Group enough to form a view on whether they would be good custodians of the (EasyJet) name."

He insists there is no reason to sell out of EasyJet - except that he mentions that the last time he sold shares was at 370p to 380p, which indicates he may have a price. What particularly troubles him is who he would sell the business to, lest the brand becomes debased.

He will not speculate on where he expects to be in 10 years, saying the time horizon is too long.

But over the next five years, he says making a success out of ownership of the Easy brand will be his "main job". Eventually, this will mean floating it.

There is no hurry, he says. As he clambers down from the EasyBus, he notes that he is still a young man and the only succession planning he would need to do was if he "fell under a bus".

So at the bus terminal, he looks carefully to right and left, and then greets some of his EasyBus passengers as television cameras roll.

He wishes them a good flight on EasyJet and then finds, to his embarrassment, they are flying Ryanair.

Ever the showman, he laughs uproariously.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 01:41 AM   #1134
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Ryanair set to end airline queues
13 November 2005
The Sunday Independent (Ireland)
NICK WEBB

MICHAEL O'Leary's low-cost airline Ryanair is aiming to obliterate frustrating airport check-in queues by offering their passengers major discounts, if they choose to check in via an internet facility rather, than standing in line at terminals.

The airline claims that up to 18m people could skip queues by availing of the new Ryanair initiative, set to be unveiled early next year.

The low-cost carrier is hoping that switching passenger check-in to the internet will have the same dramatic effect on travel habits that Ryanair.com, its ground-breaking flight-booking website, had on the industry during the Nineties.

Passengers who check in using the internet may also be allowed access to preferential seating, such as the positions on the plane that command extra leg-room. For a small fee, this would enable travellers to avoid the traditional barge and scramble for the best seats on a plane.

O'Leary is also examining longer-term plans to bus passengers, who have already checked in over the web, from airport car parks directly to a dedicated Ryanair facility where they can board their aircraft.

This would eliminate the need to enter overcrowded terminals, such as the continuing shambles at Dublin Airport.

The introduction of the online check-in service would drastically reduce the amount of airport desks operated by Ryanair and could conceivably slash its airport costs and waiting times. Airport costs currently account for nearly 16 per cent of Ryanair's total expenditure.

However, the web check-in would only be available for passengers travelling with just hand luggage. About 40 per cent of all Ryanair travellers are hand luggage-only passengers.

The airline hopes to increase this to half of all passengers, with the company expected to carry 35m people this year. O'Leary is aiming to double passenger numbers and profits by 2012.
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Old November 20th, 2005, 12:48 PM   #1135
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Hmm first perth, now Darwin.....Hopefully there'll be more to come....
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Old November 21st, 2005, 03:55 AM   #1136
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Nov 21, 2005
Budget airlines ban: Will tourism lead to U-turn?
Joint tourism promotions could break impasse. S'pore, Jakarta working on meeting before year-end

By Karamjit Kaur
Transport Correspondent

BUDGET airlines banned from flying to key Indonesian cities are hoping new efforts by Singapore agencies to promote tourism in Indonesia could help break the impasse.

One possible target - drawing tourists from China to Singapore, and then on to destinations in Indonesia.

Eight months ago, Indonesia closed its doors to foreign budget carriers applying to fly to key points including Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya and Denpasar - to protect its fledgling industry.

There has been little progress in getting the ban lifted. A spokesman for Indonesia's transport ministry told The Straits Times: 'Nothing has changed. We are still not approving any new applications.'

However, insiders say Indonesia may be more inclined to lift the ban if both sides can agree to work on more joint projects to promote tourism.

In 2000, Singapore pledged $2 million to fund joint promotional projects, said Singapore Tourism Board deputy regional director for Asean (Islands), Mr Lee Kai Yin.

Just last month, Indonesia's Minister for Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik met Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang. Mr Lee said: 'Both sides agreed to jointly promote Indonesia and Singapore, in China. Details are being worked out.'

Local budget carriers Jetstar and Tiger are hoping that joint tourism promotions could be the deal clincher.

Tiger wants to fly to Jakarta and Medan, while Jetstar and Valuair can operate under a single name only when Jakarta agrees to transfer all air rights that Valuair has to Jetstar. This is because Jakarta does not consider Valuair, which has a valuable foothold in Indonesia, a budget carrier.

Valuair flies twice daily to Jakarta and once a day to Surabaya, and to retain those rights for now, the airline may have to stay separate, despite the merger with Jetstar.

Since the ban was imposed in March, Indonesia's Transportation Minister Hatta Rajasa and Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong have met twice.

The Indonesian ministry recently wrote to its Singapore counterpart to arrange a third meeting. A spokesman for Singapore's Transport Ministry confirmed that the letter was received, and said: 'Both sides are working towards arranging a meeting before the end of this year.'

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Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 02:48 AM   #1137
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Ryanair cancel flight after truck hits plane
Shane Hickey
21 November 2005
Irish Independent

The 185 passengers due to travel on the flight from Gatwick to Dublin were brought off the plane and left with an uncertain journey home.

The Boeing 737-800 was pulled from service after a baggage loading truck hit the aircraft just before it was due to take off after 5pm yesterday.

Passengers were forced to get off the plane and collect their baggage while the aircraft was taken in for repairs and safety checks, as is the procedure when such incidents happen.

A spokesperson for Ryanair said the plane had been in a stationary position when the incident happened.

She said all of the passengers would get a full refund or be accomodated on an alternative flight.

However, she said they would not be offered overnight accommodation.

One passenger said there were lengthy queues in Gatwick and "total chaos" following the incident as people tried to get on alternative flights.
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 02:50 AM   #1138
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O'Leary says he plans to bail out of airline job by 2008
Breda Heffernan
21 November 2005
Irish Independent

RYANAIR boss Michael O'Leary, the man who brought low-cost air travel to the masses, is set to bail out from the airline business in 2008.

And the colourful chief executive has ruled out any plans to stay on as a non-executive chairman saying he had no intention of "hanging around the corridors like Banquo's ghost".

"The best companies that have survived over the long term are those that have been able to shoot the old guys - old guys go, not get promoted," said the 44-year-old.

If he leaves as planned in 2008, O'Leary will have spent 20 years at the helm ofRyanair. During that time he transformed the company from a bit-player to the biggest airline in Europe in terms of passenger numbers.

He has also amassed a personal fortune of almost €400m - making him one of the top 20 wealthiest people in the country.

"I suspect this will probably be the last three or four year extension I do," he said at the weekend.

"I said three or four years ago that when we would become the biggest airline in Europe that would be the time to go, but two outstanding issues remain - the new terminal at Dublin and the new runway at Stansted.

"I think both these problems will be sorted by 2008 and then it will be time to go," he added.

"My eulogy will probably begin with, 'He was a jumped up little bollox'."

and hopefully will end with, 'He lived fast and died young.'"

Any potential successor will have to be adept at schoomozing officials in Brussels - something the straight-talking, and often foul-mouthed, O'Leary never warmed to.

"When you become the size of Ryanair, you need a different relationship with regulators.

"I believe these morons in the European commission are making air travel more expensive, but I wouldn't be interested in sitting down trying to educate a bunch of civil servants," he railed.

The Ryanair boss, who became a father for the first time six weeks ago, has given no inkling of what he might turn his hand to once he retires.

He has already made a successful forray into the world of horseracing.

Or perhaps he could become a gentleman farmer overseeing his prize herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle on his 200-acre estate in Co Westmeath.

Either way, the outrageous publicity seeker has no intension of joining the establishment.
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 02:51 AM   #1139
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Happy Birthday easyJet - 10th anniversary celebrations begin
Corporate Press Release

easyJet celebrates its 10th anniversary on Thursday 10 November 2005. In those 10 years, the airline has transformed itself from a brightly coloured but unknown airline with two routes into one of Europe's best-known brands with 110 aircraft and 224 routes carrying over 30 million passengers a year - easyJet has truly changed the way in which people travel.

easyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou began the airline with a simple motto ‘fly for the price of a pair of jeans, only £29.00 one way.’

The first booking was taken on 23 October 1995 when the airline's call centre opened for business at London Luton Airport. The inaugural flight from London Luton Airport carried 120 excited passengers on 10 November 1995.

The rest, as they say, is history.

In April 1996, easyJet took delivery of its first wholly-owned aircraft; today the airline operates 110. At the same time as the airline took delivery of its first aircraft, easyJet went international as it launched its first service from Amsterdam to Luton. Today easyJet offers 224 routes between 67 key European airports. From Italy to Hungary and Spain to Estonia easyJet is now one of Europe’s most recognisable brands.

In 1997 easyJet.com was launched. Again easyJet was leading the way as its competitors simply watched in awe. Today an incredible one million people across Europe visit easyJet.com every single day!

In October 1999 easyJet was named ‘Best Low-Cost airline’ by Business Traveller Magazine. The airline has been the proud keeper of that award since 1999, winning it every single year. By 2001 easyJet was picking up international awards: the airline was named the ‘Best Online Travel Website’ by The Sunday Times, won the Visa e-tail ‘Best Value’ award and Stelios himself was named ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’, by GQ Magazine.

In 2002 easyJet acquired Go-Fly to become Europe's largest low-cost airline and announced an order for 120 Airbus 319 aircraft - the largest single order for an aircraft type. In the last couple of years easyJet has become a truly pan-European business by establishing major bases at Paris, Berlin, Dortmund, and Basel.

10 years on easyJet is stronger than ever, carrying over 30 million passengers every year. In May this year easyJet celebrated an incredible milestone – our 100 millionth passenger. Almost twice the entire population of the United Kingdom!

Ray Webster, easyJet’s Chief Executive comments;

"It has been an incredible journey and I am so very proud of what easyJet has achieved over the last 10 years. From Stelios’ drive and vision to the sheer determination of our people, we have led the way for 10 years. Our innovations and commitment to customer service will continue as will the commitment to deliver the best quality service to our customers."
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 09:42 AM   #1140
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http://sg.biz.yahoo.com/051122/15/3wq5y.html

SINGAPORE BUSINESS BRIEFS: Jetstar Asia Adds Cambodia

SINGAPORE (Dow Jones)--Jetstar Asia, a discount carrier part owned by Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN.AU), is expanding its regional network with flights from Singapore to the Cambodian cities of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Jetstar Asia, which currently flies to 8 destinations, said it will fly direct to the Cambodian cities three times a week from mid-December.
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