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Old September 8th, 2006, 05:11 AM   #1321
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EasyJet Says Terror Plot Cost It $7.6M
7 September 2006

LONDON (AP) - Strict new security regulations imposed following the arrest of alleged terrorist plotters in August cost easyJet PLC about 4 million pounds, or around $7.6 million, the budget airline said Thursday.

The carrier also said passenger traffic rose 8.4 percent compared with August 2005, and its load factor, or percentage of available seats filled, went up from 88.4 percent to 89.2 percent.

It said it had canceled 469 flights because of the security alert.

Still, easyJet reaffirmed its full fiscal-year guidance for pretax profit growth of 40 percent to 50 percent. In the year ended Sept. 30, it posted an 11 percent rise in pretax profit to 68 million pounds ($128.5 million).
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Old September 11th, 2006, 04:07 PM   #1322
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Business Times - 11 Sep 2006

Tiger Airways to fly to M'sian cities on Borneo Island

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian authorities have granted permission to Singapore's low-cost carrier Tiger Airways to fly from the republic to three destinations in Malaysia's Sarawak state on Borneo Island, a news report said on Monday.

The airline will be allowed to fly to the cities of Kuching, Miri and Sibu in Sarawak to boost tourist arrivals in the state, The Star newspaper quoted Sarawak State Tourism and Urban Development Minister Wong Soon Koh as saying.

Mr Wong was quoted as saying that officials hoped that lower airfares offered by Tiger Airways would attract Singaporeans and other foreign visitors to fly to the state. The Star did not give any other details, and Mr Wong could not be reached at his office. Officials from the Transport Ministry were not immediately available for further details.

At present, most routes to Sarawak are served by national carrier Malaysia Airlines and no-frills airline AirAsia. Singapore's Silk Air also flies to Sarawak, but only to the state capital, Kuching. -- AP

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Old September 23rd, 2006, 02:47 AM   #1323
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Third of Spain's visitors flew low-cost in August

MADRID, Sept 22 (Reuters) - The number of international passengers arriving in Spain with low-cost airlines like EasyJet and Ryanair during August jumped 13.2 percent from last year, government figures showed on Friday.

Spain's crowded no-frills airline market accounted for nearly a third of flights into the country during the peak holiday month.

The figures showed 1.8 million visitors came to Spain in August in flights operated by low-cost airlines -- 30.2 percent of all international passengers.

Britain's easyJet brought the most passengers, followed by Ireland's Ryanair and Germany's Air Berlin . Unlisted Spanish airline Vueling, a low-cost start-up that began flying in July 2004, was ranked fifth.

The majority of low-cost flights, 84.7 percent, originated in the UK, the data showed.

Malaga airport, on the Costa del Sol on Spain's south coast which is within striking distance of popular resorts like Marbella and Torremolinos, was the most popular destination for low-cost flights during the month.

Spain is becoming one of the main battlegrounds for low-cost carriers in Europe.

EasyJet said in August it was opening its first base in the country at the newly-expanded Barajas airport in Madrid and planned to start domestic Spanish flights.

Spanish flag-carrier Iberia has led the launch of a new low-cost airline to fight the short-haul competition on its own turf. Clickair will start flying from its base in Barcelona this year.
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 12:48 PM   #1324
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2 Oct 2006
Tiger Airways plans to set up 5 bases

Budget carrier, Tiger Airways, plans to set up as many as five bases over the next two or three years.

Its Chief Executive, Tony Davis, told Bloomberg this in an interview.

"What we are looking to do is really to take the company be a Pan-Asian, with bases around the region. So we are looking at a 4 to 5 bases over the next 2 to 3 years and us that ability to cover the whole of the region."

Last week, Tiger Airways announced its first overseas operation through its extensive marketing agreement with Philippine carrier, Southeast Asian Airlines or Seair.

Mr Davis is seeking to emulate the success of discount airlines such as Ryanair Holdings.

He is setting up operations overseas to better compete with its rivals and tap the strong travel demand in the region.

Copyright © 2006 MediaCorp Radio New Media Development
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 06:15 AM   #1325
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Ryanair orders new Boeing planes, hikes profits forecast

DUBLIN, Sept 29, 2006 (AFP) - Ryanair, Europe's biggest no-frills airline, said Friday that it had ordered 32 fuel efficient Boeing 737-800 planes at a cost of 2.25 billion dollars (1.78 billion euros) at catalogue price.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, the Dublin-based carrier added that it expected its net profit for the year ending March 2007 to rise 11 percent to about 335 million euros (424 million dollars), compared with a previous guidance of an increase of between five and ten percent.

"Based on our aircraft delivery programme, our new routes and bases, we anticipate that passenger growth will be slightly higher at 22 percent (previously 20 percent) to 42.5 million for the full year," Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary added in the statement.

Ryanair said deliveries of the new planes, which were options converted into firm orders, would begin in September 2008.

The new planes bring the total number of Ryanair firm orders for Boeing 737-800s to 281.

Ryanair noted that the single-aisle planes "ensure maximum fuel efficiency", reducing fuel burn per seat by 45 percent and cutting carbon dioxide emissions by half. The airline claimed also that the new order would create more than 1,500 jobs at Ryanair's 17 bases across Europe.

"These 32 next generation 737-800 aircraft are due for delivery between September 2008 and June 2009 and will facilitate double digit annual growth from 42 million passengers this year to 84 million passengers in 2012," Ryanair said in its statement.

Despite hiking its profits forecast, the airline remains cautious.

Earlier this week Ryanair announced it had hedged its fuel costs for the first three months of 2007, at a rate equivalent to 73 dollars per barrel -- which is about 10 dollars above current prices.

In another major announcement, Ryanair said Thursday that it would launch 17 new routes from Barcelona Girona airport, beginning next March.

The 17 new routes would lead to one million more passengers travelling on Ryanair each year, it claimed.

On Tuesday, meanwhile, Ryanair offered to build a low-cost second terminal at Dublin Airport at a cost of 250 million euros.

Ryanair opposes the Dublin Airport Authority's own plans for Terminal 2, citing excessive costs.
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Old October 5th, 2006, 02:46 AM   #1326
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Ryanair eyes top spot on Polish market by 2008

KRAKOW, Poland, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Europe's largest budget airline, Ryanair , said on Wednesday it plans to overtake national carrier LOT [LOT.UL] as Poland's leading airline within two years, targeting passenger numbers of four million in 2008. With a population of 38 million, Poland is central Europe's biggest market and industry group IATA has estimated it would be among the world's fastest growing airline markets over the next four years.

"Our strategy is to overtake LOT and become number one in Poland in 2008, meaning we would carry four million passengers in and out of the country then," Ryanair sales and marketing executive for central Europe Tomasz Kulakowski told reporters.

The Irish-based carrier plans to open new routes in 2007 that will almost double its passengers numbers on Polish connections to around three million in 2007, from 1.5-1.6 million this year.

Budget airline traffic to and from Poland has grown sharply due to the large number of Poles working in western Europe, but strong competition has driven prices down and forced rivals to cut down the number of connections they run.

With its more traditional business model, LOT has struggled to deal with the influx of budget carriers including Ryanair, Wizz Air and SkyEurope . Its passenger numbers rose just 1.7 percent last year.

Kulakowski said Ryanair would announce the site for a new central and eastern European hub in spring next year, adding three Polish cities are among the locations being considered.
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Old October 5th, 2006, 09:06 PM   #1327
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^ Ryanair has already become the largest airline by total passenger numbers in Britain - well ahead of BA - and they are of course number one in Ireland too. I dare say they will be largest airline in Italy and Spain before long. Indeed they may be there already. Michael O Leary's plan for world domination continues apace. A takeover of Aer Lingus would be interesting as it would be the first time Ryanair had moved into long-haul and the first time it operated aircraft other than the Boeing 737 series. Admittedly all of this would be kept under the Aer Lingus brand. From the BBC:


Aer Lingus rejects Ryanair offer
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5408780.stm



Ryanair says the bid is a "unique opportunity"


Irish airline Aer Lingus has rejected a 1.48bn euro (£1bn; $1.9bn) takeover offer from budget rival Ryanair.

The board of Aer Lingus said the bid "significantly undervalues the group's businesses and attractive long term growth potential".

Proceedings in the Irish parliament, the Dail, were suspended earlier in the day as politicians argued the issue.

A merged group would have a 78% share of the London-Dublin route, raising concerns over competition issues.

Analysts have said the competition issues could be overcome if some routes were shed, but added that Ryanair would probably have to raise its bid significantly.


Government stake

Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary said the move was a "unique opportunity" to form a "strong Irish airline", carrying more than 50 million passengers each year.

If the bid was successful, he said the plan was to continue to operate the two airlines separately and compete on the 17 routes which both use.

The Irish government, which owns 28.3% of Aer Lingus, said it would not sell its shares.

Mr O'Leary said Ryanair would be "more than happy" for the government to retain its stake.

Transport minister Martin Cullen was due to answer special questions on the takeover approach in the Dail on Thursday afternoon.

Morning proceedings had been halted after Taoiseach Bertie Ahern refused opposition requests for a debate on the subject.

He said the government was committed to competition in the industry, but that the deal would need regulatory clearance from either the Irish authorities or the European Commission.

Earlier this week, Aer Lingus shares were floated on the stock market in London and Dublin. Shares began trading at 2.20 euros each, valuing the firm at 1.13bn euros.


Global competitor

Ryanair has bought a 16% stake in Aer Lingus and is offering 2.80 euros per share for the remaining shares.

News of the takeover approach pushed Aer Lingus shares up 15%, though Ryanair shares fell 1%.


AER LINGUS FACTS
- Low-cost airline focussing on passenger transport
- Fleet of 35 aircraft
- 11 routes from Ireland to the UK
- 57 routes from Ireland to mainland Europe
- Long-haul flights to US and UAE



The flotation followed a decision by the Irish government to sell much of its 85.1% share in the company. Workers now have a 9.85% stake.

If accepted, the Irish Government would get more than 500m euros from the sale and Aer Lingus employees would gain 200m euros, Ryanair said.


Shedding routes

The second largest union at Aer Lingus, Impact, is opposing the proposed takeover saying a stand-alone Aer Lingus was "in the best interests of the company, the country, passengers and staff".

"There are clearly significant competition issues involved in the proposed takeover, which would create a near-monopoly on passenger air travel in and out of Ireland with obvious adverse implications for passengers and society," a spokesman added.


RYANAIR FACTS
- Fleet of 107 aircraft
- Orders for a further 281 Boeing 737-800s
- 372 routes
- 38.9 million passengers in the year to September 2006



Ryanair said that if the deal went through Aer Lingus would be able to cut the price of its short-haul fares and its fuel surcharge.

It also said it would be able to improve Aer Lingus' long-haul service and its cargo division.

The deal could get clearance by competition regulators, but some routes may have to be shed, said Exane BNP Paribas analyst Nick van den Brul.

"There would almost certainly be a competition investigation by the EU but it doesn't look insurmountable," he said.
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Old October 6th, 2006, 09:33 PM   #1328
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Britain's easyJet raises profit forecast after strong passenger growth
6 October 2006

LONDON (AP) - Budget airline easyJet raised its full year profit forecast on Friday on the back of increased passenger numbers and higher ticket prices.

EasyJet, Europe's second largest low-cost airline behind Ryanair Holdings PLC, now expects pretax profit for the year to Sept. 30, 2006 to be "slightly ahead" of its previous guidance of growth of 40 to 50 percent. The airline made a pretax profit of 82.6 million pounds last year.

EasyJet said its revenue for the year to Sept. 30 increased 20.7 percent to 1.62 billion pounds. Passenger numbers over the full year rose 12 percent to 32.95 million and revenue per seat rose 7.8 percent.

Low-cost airlines now have 24 percent share of the European market, up from 5 percent in 2001, according to the Official Airline Guide.

EasyJet Chief Executive Officer Andrew Harrison has added planes and routes from bases including Lisbon and Milan Malpensa since his appointment in December.

Rival Ryanair, which on Thursday announced a euro1.48 billion (US$1.88 billion) hostile takeover bid for Aer Lingus PLC, has also raised its full year profit forecast after opening several new routes.

EasyJet said that it carried 3 million passengers in September, an increase of 9.8 percent on the same month last year.

"September revenue was slightly ahead of expectations marking an encouraging end to easyJet's financial year," the company said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

Load factor, a measure of how full planes are, was 86.5, an increase of 0.1 percentage points on September last year.

In the previous fiscal year, easyJet reported a 3.7 percent rise in annual net profit to 42.6 million pounds on revenue of 1.3 billion pounds.

Shares in the carrier rose 0.75 percent to 501.75 pence on the London Stock Exchange. The airline's full year results will be announced Nov. 14.
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Old October 7th, 2006, 05:48 AM   #1329
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey View Post
Rolling 12 month passenger totals to August 2006:
EasyJet = 32,685,363
Ryanair = 38,371,772

Percentage increase in passengers since August 2005:
EasyJet = 12.1%
Ryanair = 23%

Load factor (ie percentage bums on seats) in August 2006:
EasyJet = 89.2%
Ryanair = 91%
Rolling 12 month passenger totals to September 2006:
EasyJet = 32,953,287
Ryanair = 38,885,384

Percentage increase in passengers since September 2005:
EasyJet = 11.5%
Ryanair = 17%

Load factor (ie percentage bums on seats) in September 2006:
EasyJet = 84.8%
Ryanair = 86%
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Old October 10th, 2006, 01:22 PM   #1330
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Business Times - 10 Oct 2006

Tiger Q2 passenger traffic up 70.6%

By VEN SREENIVASAN

(SINGAPORE) Tiger Airways' second-quarter passenger traffic rose 70.6 per cent, lifting passenger load factor by 7.1 percentage points.

This raised traffic growth for the April-September first half by 75.5 per cent year-on-year, resulting in a 9.7 percentage points rise in load factor.

The airline increased capacity during the July-September quarter by 54.2 per cent. Capacity growth during the entire first half was up 52.6 per cent as the budget carrier increased frequencies after moving to the Budget Terminal, where it now operates almost 200 flights per week to over a dozen regional destinations.

Tiger has never revealed its actual passenger load factor numbers, but analysts believe it to be in the 65-70 per cent range systemwide.

The airline recently signed a marketing agreement with Philippines-based SEAir, which essentially marks the establishment of its first overseas base. Tiger expects to set up several more bases in regional countries, either via strategic tie-ups or equity stakes, over the next few years.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved
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Old October 13th, 2006, 09:18 PM   #1331
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EU official says Ireland wants meeting over Ryanair bid for Aer Lingus
13 October 2006

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - The Irish government is seeking talks with European Union antitrust authorities to discuss Ryanair Holdings PLC's surprise takeover bid for Aer Lingus Group PLC, officials said Friday.

Aer Lingus, its employees and the Irish government rejected Ryanair's euro1.48 billion (US$1.86 billion) offer for the carrier last week.

"We have been contacted by the Irish government with a view to set up a meeting next week," said EU spokesman Jonathan Todd.

He said it was not unusual for contacts to take place before a bid is notified and said it was up to Ryanair whether to bring the case before the EU or the Irish competition authorities.

Ryanair's bid is conditional on it gaining 50.1 percent of Aer Lingus. It currently holds 19.2 percent after buying up shares last week.

Pilots for Aer Lingus revealed Friday that they had bought more shares in the carrier, increasing their stake slightly to 2.18 percent. The Irish Airline Pilots Pension Group has been increasing its holding in small increments since Ryanair launched its bid.

The pilots have declined to comment on the purchases, but analysts said the move could be part of a creeping equity grab designed to block Ryanair's takeover.

The Irish government sold most of its holding in the previously state-owned carrier, but still holds a 28 percent stake in Aer Lingus. It has pledged to retain a minimum 25.1 percent stake -- the minimum required to block any attempt by a majority owner to have the company de-listed from stock markets.

The current government stake, combined with the pilots' holdings and the 12 percent owned by employee share ownership trusts, gives government and staff just over 42 percent of the carrier.

Opponents to the takeover claim it will wipe out competition, drive up prices and lead to job cuts. Labor leaders are also concerned that Ryanair does not recognize union rights, insisting instead of individual staff contracts.

Analysts said that Ryanair was unlikely to succeed without raising its offer price. They believe the discount carrier, which has rapidly expanded across Europe but never mounted such an ambitious takeover bid before, certainly could afford to raise its offer, because it has cash reserves exceeding euro2 billion (US$2.6 billion).
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Old October 18th, 2006, 02:26 AM   #1332
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Irish tycoon buys 2.1 percent stake in Aer Lingus, opposes takeover bid by Ryanair
By SHAWN POGATCHNIK
17 October 2006

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) - Irish tycoon Denis O'Brien said Tuesday he has bought a 2.1 percent stake in the recently privatized airline Aer Lingus Group PLC and wants to help block a hostile takeover bid by rival carrier Ryanair.

The intervention by O'Brien, who has made billions developing mobile-phone companies from Ireland to the Caribbean, represented the first confirmed effort by a third party to oppose the takeover bid launched Oct. 5 by Ryanair Holdings PLC.

The surprise attack by Ryanair, Europe's fastest-growing airline, came just a week after the government sold its majority stake in Aer Lingus, one of the world's few profitable state-owned airlines.

The Irish government, Aer Lingus management and labor unions all oppose the Ryanair offer of 2.80 euros ($3.55) a share, which is a 27 percent premium over Aer Lingus' Sept. 27 IPO price of 2.20 euros ($2.79).

Since the bid was announced, Aer Lingus shares have remained well above the Ryanair offer price -- they closed Tuesday at 2.87 euros ($3.65) -- in expectation that Ryanair would raise its offer.

O'Brien said in a statement he had purchased more than 32 million euros ($40 million) of Aer Lingus shares because he didn't want Ryanair to strangle airline competition in Ireland. He said his move was designed to bolster existing efforts by investment trusts representing Aer Lingus employees to build up a blocking share.

Ryanair holds more than 19 percent of the shares but requires more than 50 percent to mount a successful takeover. It is legally barred from increasing its holding while the share price remains above its euros 2.80 offer.

The government still holds more than 28 percent of the shares and has ruled out the prospect of selling to Ryanair. A long-established share ownership trust for the entire Aer Lingus work force, representing more than 3,300 people, owns more than 11 percent of shares. A new trust representing Aer Lingus pilots had built up a 2.24 percent stake as of Tuesday.

Analysts say this means a combination of anti-Ryanair investors -- the government, Aer Lingus employees and O'Brien -- could block a Ryanair takeover if they can acquire about 6 percent more of Aer Lingus shares.
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Old October 21st, 2006, 03:10 AM   #1333
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Ryanair says there will be significant jobs cuts at Aer Lingus

DUBLIN, Oct 20, 2006 (AFP) - Ryanair, Europe's largest no-frills carrier, will make significant job cuts at Ireland's former state airline Aer Lingus if its hostile bid is successful, Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said Friday.

"If you look at Aer Lingus today they are carrying eight million passengers with 3,500 staff. We are carrying 42.5 million passengers with 3,500 staff.

"By any measure, Aer Lingus continues to be significantly over-manned," O'Leary told RTE state radio.

"There is no doubt in my mind that there will be significant job losses in Aer Lingus if the Ryanair bid is successful because that's one of the ways where we expect to reduce costs and to reduce fares."

He said pilots, cabin crew and engineers were not in danger of losing their jobs because if Ryanair's offer succeeds the plan is to "expand, enhance and upgrade" Aer Lingus operations.

Ryanair currently owns over 19 percent of Aer Lingus and plans to formalise its offer on Monday.

Ryanair launched its 2.80-euros-per-share bid on October 5, valuing Aer Lingus at 1.481 billion euros (1.883 billion dollars) just days after the company was partly privatized.

The bid was rejected by Aer Lingus management, and has also been greeted with hostility from the Irish government, which still holds a stake of over 28 percent, and trade unions.

The Ryanair board made a statement to the Irish Stock Exchange Friday outlining key elements of its offer.

It said that without the Ryanair takeover deal "Aer Lingus will continue to be a small regional European airline which, because of its size and regional nature, is unlikely to be of interest or relevance to the three major European airline groupings".

Isolated as a small regional airline, Ryanair claimed Aer Lingus would continue to be "at the mercy" of the government and trade unions.

It said that in recent years this had meant it lurched from crisis to crisis, incurred substantial cumulative losses, suffered repeated strikes, discouraged successful management and resulted in over 3,000 job losses.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 05:34 AM   #1334
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Ryanair postpones flights from Europe to Morocco

RABAT, Oct 21, 2006 (AFP) - Ryanair, Europe's largest no-frills carrier, said Saturday it had been obliged to postpone the introduction of new flights between European and Moroccan destinations because of EU regulation delays.

It said that flights from Marseille and Frankfurt to Fes, Marrakesh and Oujda would not now start until December 1, though services from Luton, near London, to Fes and Marrakesh, would begin as planned next month.

Ryanair blamed the decision of the European Union to put off until November 17 the signing of an agreement to create a common European airspace which will include Morocco.

It said passengers who had booked seats for before December 1 would be entitled to a ticket exchange or refund.

The company said the flights from Britain came under a separate accord by London and Rabat.
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Old October 25th, 2006, 10:12 PM   #1335
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Irish lawmakers raise air merger concerns with EU

STRASBOURG, France, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Irish members of the European Parliament have expressed their concerns over Ryanair's planned 1.48 billion euro ($1.9 billion) takeover of Aer Lingus to Europe's competition chief.

The lawmakers met European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes on Wednesday and said afterwards she had shown understanding about their view that the deal could create a new monopoly in flights between Ireland and Britain.

One of the lawmakers, Eoin Ryan, said Kroes had told them that if the review of the proposed takeover falls is handled by Brussels -- as opposed to Dublin -- her staff would look specifically at the impact on Ireland, as well as EU aviation.

A spokesman for Kroes said she had said Brussels would look at the "horizontal effects" of the deal but had not been specific about the scope of the review, should it eventually be handled by regulators in Brussels.

The Irish government has said it wants a competition review of the deal to look at the impact on Irish aviation, as well as the European market as a whole, because it is concerned the merger would effectively create an Irish airline monopoly.

The government owns roughly a quarter of Aer Lingus.

The spokesman, Jonathan Todd, said Kroes had reminded her audience that it remains unclear whether the deal is big enough to be considered in Brussels, or is small enough for it to be reviewed by Ireland's competition authority.

Ryanair, Europe's biggest budget airline, launched a shock bid for Aer Lingus this month.

Lawmaker Ryan, who is a member of the ruling party in Ireland and sits in the Irish national parliament as well as the European Parliament, said he told Kroes the merged airline would control 80 percent of flights between Ireland and Britain.
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Old October 25th, 2006, 10:15 PM   #1336
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London-bound easyJet plane makes emergency landing in Lisbon

LISBON, Oct 25, 2006 (AFP) - An easyJet flight from southern Portugal to London with 169 passengers on board made an emergency landing Wednesday in Lisbon due to technical problems with the aircraft, an airport official said.

The Boeing 757-200 plane of the British no-frills airline, which departed from Faro, the capital of the Algarve, Portugal's main tourism centre, landed safely at Portela airport at 12:18 p.m. (1218 GMT), said a spokesman for airport management company ANA.

No further details were immediately available.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 03:18 PM   #1337
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Aer Lingus accuses takeover suitor Ryanair of making misleading claims
27 October 2006

LONDON (AP) - Takeover target Aer Lingus kept up its fight against Ryanair Holdings PLC on Friday, claiming its suitor had seriously misrepresented its position in a statement designed to bolster its bid.

Ryanair, which earlier this month launched a 1.48 billion euros ($1.9 billion) bid for fellow Irish carrier Aer Lingus Group PLC, said in a statement Thursday that Aer Lingus staff shareholders should accept its offer, based on the money they would receive and reports of possible job cuts.

Ryanair claimed that staff members of Aer Lingus' Employee Share Ownership Trust, which has a 12.6 percent stake in the airline, could expect to get 60,000 euros ($76,300) each by selling their shares in the airline.

Aer Lingus said the statement was "incorrect and seriously misleading," and that its own calculations showed that trust members would receive around 32,500 euros each if they accepted the offer.

Gaining the support of the trust could be the key to winning control of Aer Lingus after the government said it would not sell its 25.35 percent stake. A number of smaller Aer Lingus shareholders are also opposed to the bid.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 01:26 PM   #1338
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31 October 2006
Budget Terminal passenger volume to hit million mark by end 2006

SINGAPORE : Singapore's budget terminal is expected to hit the million mark by the end of the year.

The volume of low-cost carrier flights in Singapore have climbed to 11.3 percent of total flights, and plans are already in place to expand the terminal to meet the growing demand.

In the first month of business, Singapore's Budget Terminal saw about 72,800 travellers checking in to fly two low-cost carriers operating from there - Singapore-based Tiger Airways and Philippine's Cebu Pacific.

And the budget travel sector is expected to soar in the years ahead.

"At the rate we are going, we have about a 100,000 passengers now a month, so we will cross a million easily in the next couple of months. Our capacity is about 2.7 million, so there's still space to grow," says Transport Minister Raymond Lim.

The budget terminal is linked to 16 cities with about 244 weekly scheduled flights. That is a 97 percent increase in the number of flights since the terminal was operational. And about 657,000 passengers have gone through the departure gate.

The volume of air commuters could climb even further, now that Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are moving forward with more sky links, as well as the recent proposal of an open skies agreement between ASEAN and China.

"We've always been ready and we have a liberal air policy. I think they (Malaysians) know our views on this matter but we need to see their proposal, so we know how best to take it forward," says the Transport Minister.

""I think that it is a good proposal, that we should work towards open skies between ASEAN and China because this will facilitate trade, investment and tourism flow. So it's a move in the right direction," he adds.

When the time comes, the budget terminal will be up to the challenge of handling the traffic.

Built with an expandable capacity, it can handle a maximum of five million passengers a year. - CNA /ls

Copyright © 2006 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old October 31st, 2006, 03:48 PM   #1339
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EU must determine if Ryanair takeover bid for Aer Lingus falls within its jurisdiction
31 October 2006

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - EU regulators must determine whether Irish low-fare airline Ryanair's bid for rival Aer Lingus falls within its responsibility, an EU spokesman said Tuesday.

The European Commission usually decides on mergers where both companies have more than 250 million euros ($316 million) in sales in Europe, but a national antitrust regulator can take charge if the businesses have two-thirds of their sales in one country.

EU spokesman Jonathan Todd said it was up to Ryanair to decide if EU or national regulators would be responsible for the deal, and the EU would then have to evaluate if that was justified.

"As with any other case notified to it, the commission will now verify and check whether it agrees that this ... has a European dimension," he said.

Irish low-fare airline Ryanair Holdings PLC asked the commission on Monday to approve its 1.48 billion euros ($1.9 billion) hostile takeover bid for fellow Irish carrier Aer Lingus Group PLC.

The commission set a provisional deadline of Dec. 6 to clear the deal but can extend that if it identifies antitrust problems or receives complaints from rivals.

The deal is likely to face careful scrutiny from regulators because the two control over 70 percent of the Irish short-haul market.

Ryanair says it competes directly against Aer Lingus on 17 out of 500 routes but analysts say that number is higher if cities, rather than airports, are used to define routes. Ryanair usually flies to smaller airports farther away from the city destination, using a shuttle bus to connect the two.

If the combination goes ahead, the airlines may be forced to give up takeoff and landing slots at their Dublin hub. Regulators demanded that Air France SA and the Netherlands' KLM give up slots at their home airports of Paris and Amsterdam when they merged in 2004. Lufthansa AG and Swiss also had to make similar concessions last year.

Aer Lingus fiercely opposes the takeover and its major shareholder, the Irish government, has refused to sell its 25 percent stake.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 01:26 AM   #1340
Dubrovnik
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AT LAST RYANAIR COMES TO PULA !

The long awaited day has come ! After years of negotiations, great expectations, uncertainties and hindrance from the law, Ryanair ( Europe's largest low fares airline ) has finally arrived at Pula Airport.


Today at 18,05, the luxurious Boeing 737 800 series aircraft capable of carrying up to 189 passengers , landed with 105 passengers on board from London-Stansted. This is the beginning of a 3 times per week services ( Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays ) providing an international route throughout the year and, hopefully, for many years to come

http://www.airport-pula.com/en/home/...u=7&id_news=50
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