Ryanair opens an­other base in Brexit Bri­tain

Daily Mail - - City & Finance -

RYANAIR is open­ing a new base in Bri­tain – in an ap­par­ent U-turn af­ter warn­ing that Brexit would be a dis­as­ter for the UK and the coun­try’s air­line in­dus­try.

The bud­get air­line said it will start fly­ing out of Southend in April, which sent shares in the air­port’s owner, Sto­bart, soar­ing.

In March, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary threat­ened to ground planes in a bid to force vot­ers to re­think their po­si­tion on leav­ing the EU. He told an au­di­ence of air­line lead­ers: ‘It’s only when you get to that stage you’re go­ing to per­suade the av­er­age Bri­tish voter that you were lied to in the en­tire Brexit de­bate.’ But Southend will be­come its 14th UK base, cre­at­ing 750 jobs, with Ryanair op­er­at­ing 13 routes to eight coun­tries from the Es­sex air­port, with des­ti­na­tions in­clud­ing Barcelona, Corfu, Mi­lan and Venice.

Sto­bart Group was up 11.2pc, or 26.5p, at 263p.

But Ryanair chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer David O’Brien in­sisted the com­pany was still as gloomy as ever about Brexit.

He said: ‘Don’t con­fuse this great news as some sort of vote of con­fi­dence in the fu­ture of UK avi­a­tion – it’s a vote of con­fi­dence in Southend Air­port.’

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