Brexit not hurt­ing flight de­mand, says Ryanair

Irish Independent - Business Week - - FRONT PAGE - Sarah Young

RYANAIR is not see­ing any im­pact from Brexit on de­mand for flights, and is pre­pared for a no-deal, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer Kenny Ja­cobs said yes­ter­day.

He added that it isn’t in­ter­ested in buy­ing Bri­tish re­gional air­line Flybe, which put it­self up for sale last week.

In a press con­fer­ence in Lon­don, Mr Ja­cobs re­it­er­ated com­ments that Europe’s big­gest low-cost air­line, which has been hit by a se­ries of strikes this year, would come to agree­ments with unions in its main mar­kets be­fore the end of March.

The com­ments on Brexit from the Ir­ish air­line echo what smaller Bri­tish ri­val Easy­jet said on Tues­day, about it be­ing pre­pared for a no-deal sce­nario, and the un­cer­tainty over Brexit hav­ing no im­pact on ticket sales.

“The de­mand that’s out there ... is re­ally, re­ally strong. The Euro­pean con­sumer, the Bri­tish con­sumer just con­tin­ues to book,” Mr Ja­cobs said.

CEO Michael O’Leary has in the past warned that a dis­or­derly Brexit could ground flights for a num­ber of weeks af­ter the UK leaves.

But af­ter re­as­sur­ances on fly­ing rights pro­vided by the EU last week, that is no longer a risk, said Mr Ja­cobs.

He added that Ryanair was “not in­ter­ested in Flybe” – a smaller op­er­a­tor hit by ris­ing fuel prices in re­cent times.

“It’ll prob­a­bly be split up and you’ll prob­a­bly get a few dif­fer­ent air­lines buy­ing the var­i­ous as­sets,” Mr Ja­cobs said.

Ryanair’s plan was pre­dom­i­nantly for or­ganic growth, he added.


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