Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary comments on its future, Brexit, easyJet, Norwegian and bankrupt Air Berlin and Alitalia

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During a press conference held today (Thursday) Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary commented on Ryanair’s future, bankrupt Air Berlin (Lufthansa) and Alitalia,  alcohol abuse, easyJet and Norwegian.

This year Ryanair expects 131 million passengers, a 9% traffic growth compared to last year. The airline has 86 bases and flies to 205 airports, in its always getting better program Ryanair will need 215 aircraft to grow to 200 million passengers per year over the next 8 years.

The Ryanair CEO asks a limit of two alcoholic drinks per passenger at the airport, before boarding. “There is a growing frequency of unruly passengers on board. They sit around in the bars, are getting drunk, creating discomfort for fellow passengers.

On the Air Berlin bankruptcy Michael O’Leary comments: “If Lufthansa takes over bankrupt Air Berlin, Lufthansa becomes a German monster: their 65% domestic market share will rise to 95%, no other European country would allow this kind of monopoly. The next biggest competitor would be Ryanair (2%) and TUI (2%). Even Zimbabwe or North-Korea would struggle to justify this kind of merger.

Ryanair also submitted an offer on Alitalia: “We have submitted an offer on Alitalia, we will keep 90 Alitalia jet aircraft with their pilots, cabin crew, routes, etc… but we have no interest in the 30 Alitalia turboprop aircraft. We are interested in both Alitalia’s medium-haul as long-haul aircraft, for example many Italians live in the United States.

Michael O’Leary thinks that after the Brexit easyJet will be forced to ground aircraft at Paris CDG/Orly and Lyon as easyJet’s UK AOC will not stand. Also the Austrian AOC for easyJet will not survive beyond March 2019.

On a question about Norwegian, Michael O’Leary thinks that Norwegian will be gone in 4-5 months: “Norwegian is running out of cash, burning so much cash it may not survive this winter…*  ”

* A Norwegian spokesperson said: “These comments have no root in reality. Norwegian has been profitable for the last 10 years, with a strong liquidity, together with owning a substantial share of Bank Norwegian which has a market value of over £1.6billion (NOK 17 billion).

Ryanair removed the London press release movie on Facebook.

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