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Ryanair's O'Leary Says Industry Most Optimistic In 25 Years

By Dave Simpson

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said this is the most optimistic time he has seen in air travel since taking charge of the airline in the mid-1990s as passengers return to the skies following a series of COVID-19 lockdowns.

"This is the most optimistic time I've seen in air travel for the last 25 years. Everybody's been locked down for two years. Tourism is getting back, hotels are filling up again, beaches are filling up again. Everyone's getting moving again," O'Leary told a Eurocontrol event.

Eddie Wilson, the head of Ryanair DAC, the largest airline in the group, added that the looming recession in Europe is of a different variety this time due to the build up savings during the pandemic and relatively full employment in the economies Ryanair operates in.

Ryanair Will Be Lucky To Get 40 New Boeing Jets By June - CEO

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The above news was followed by news that Ryanair will be lucky to receive 40 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft by the end of June from the 51 due for delivery, chief executive Michael O'Leary said on Tuesday 29 November, potentially impacting the airline's planned growth for 2023.

"We're contracted to get 51 aircraft from Boeing before the end of April. We will be lucky to get 40 aircraft by the end of June next year and that's critical to our continued growth," O'Leary told a Eurocontrol event.

Ryanair plans to grow from a record 168 million passengers this financial year to 185 million next. O'Leary said earlier this month that he was concerned Boeing might fall 5-10 aircraft short, knocking 1 or 2 million from that target.

Ryanair In Talks To Expand Into Egypt And Libya, CEO Says

All of the above news was followed by news that Europe's largest airline by passenger numbers, Ryanair RYA, is in talks with authorities in Egypt and Libya about operating flights to the countries for the first time, Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said on Tuesday 29 November.

Ryanair's only flights outside of Europe currently are to and from Morocco, Israel and Jordan.

Its Hungary-based rival Wizz, which flies to Egypt and Morocco, has also been expanding aggressively into the Middle East, flying 36 routes from Abu Dhabi on its Wizz Air Abu Dhabi joint venture.

"We're talking to the Egyptians, the Libyans," O'Leary told a Eurocontrol event, without giving any more details.

O'Leary added that Ryanair would be the first airline to return to Ukraine when it is safe to do so. Ryanair was one of the largest foreign airlines in Ukraine before it suspended all of its flights following Russia's invasion in February.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
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Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
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