Ryanair shareholders approve purchase of 175 Boeing aircraft

Michael O’Leary says strike action by French air traffic controllers had a small impact

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary. The airline’s shareholders today approved the purchase of 175 Boeing aircraft. Photo: Bloomberg

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary. The airline’s shareholders today approved the purchase of 175 Boeing aircraft. Photo: Bloomberg

Tue, Jun 18, 2013, 11:47

BARRY O’HALLORAN and PAMELA NEWENHAM

Ryanair shareholders gave the airline the go-ahead to buy 175 Boeing aircraft, worth €12 billion, today.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary said the purchase would mean bigger aircraft and lower costs per seat which will result in increased shareholder returns.

He also predicted that the deal would increaes the low-cost carrier’s fleet to more than 400 craft from 300 within two years, making it “the largest international airline in the world”.

At list prices, 175 Boeing 737’s would cost €12 billion, but Ryanair says it has negotiated a significant discount with the US aircraft manufacturer which is in line with similar deals done in the past.

Speaking to reporters in Dublin, he said the recent strike action by French air traffic controllers had “a relatively small” impact, but added that the answer to annual industrial action by these staff was to ban them from going on strike.

He also said that he doesn’t expect Ryanair to be forced to sell any of its stake in Aer Lingus, and any effort by British regulators to force a sale would inevitably end up in court.

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