Ryanair, Europeå‘s only low fares airline this morning held its AGM in Dublin, on the day in which its market capitalisation exceeded that of Lufthansa making Ryanair Europeå‘s largest airline by market capitalisation.
Speaking at the AGM today, Ryanair’s Chief Executive, Michael O’Leary unveiled a number of new milestones to shareholders;
*Ryanair is now the largest airline in Europe by market cap having passed out Lufthansa and is more than twice the market cap of British Airways.
*The airline has just completed a record week of bookings with over 700,000 bookings taken over the previous 7 days during our 1 million “free seat” give-away.
*The airline has now displaced British Airways as the No.1 carrier on the London-Brussels route, one of Europe’s key business routes.
*The airline’s cash reserves have now exceeded €1bn for the first time ever despite continuing to lower air fares, open up new markets, and acquire new aircraft from Boeing.
*Ryanair has launched the most comprehensive Customer Service Charter of any European airline.
“We are presently finalising our new route and new base negotiations for Summer 2003. We will shortly announce details of our first new routes which will start operating in early December and expect before Christmas to announce the first of possibly two new bases for Summer 2003.
“Business continues to be robust, with stronger than expected traffic numbers, and lower than expected yields. Current trading remains robust and we continue to predict results to be in line with analysts expectations.
“The only blackspot in this continuing growth and success is Ireland where our tourism industry faces decline and disaster. There is a simple cure for Irish tourism and it’s not committees, or research reports or industry talking shops. It can be fixed within 12 months by Ryanair, all we need are efficient facilities and low costs here in Dublin and Shannon and we will deliver 2 million new passengers. Why should Ireland continue to miss out on Ryanair’s 4 million passenger, per annum growth?
“We have recently offered new routes, new aircraft and new traffic to the Aer Rianta monopoly. Dublin have told us to go away because our offer “isn’t serious” and Shannon Airport couldn’t be bothered to reply. We warmly welcome the new Minister and the new Government’s commitment to tourism but whilst Aer Rianta continues to defy Government policy, Irish tourism declines. While this inefficient, high cost, civil servant run airport monopoly continues to strangle access to Ireland our tourism industry will remain in the toilet.
“Mercifully, Ryanair no longer relies on, nor needs Ireland. We are determined to continue our twin policy of disciplined growth, and lowering air fares all over Europe. We will continue to save the travelling public billions of euros over the prices charged by our high fare competitors, whilst delivering superior returns for shareholders, more jobs, pay increases and rapid promotion prospects for our outstanding 1,700 staff.”