Ryanair Could Benefit From Spanish Bailout: CEO
Staff Writer, CNBC.com
If Spain becomes the next euro zone economy to seek a bailout by international lenders, low-cost airline Ryanair might be one company to benefit, according to its chief executive.
Michael O'Leary, the famously irascible chief executive of the airline, told CNBC it could be a "primary beneficiary of the restructuring of Spain, as he unveiled an unexpected 10 percent leap in profits for the first half of its financial year. It is now the airline with the biggest seat capacity on flights out of Spain.
O'Leary calledRyanair the "Ikea of the airline business" and said that it stood to benefit from recession in the euro zone and a pullback from competitors in some short-haul European routes.
Net profit between March and the end of October rose to 596 million euros ($765.6 million), higher than analysts' expectations of 564 million euros. Revenue increased by 15 percent to 3.1 billion euros as the company successfully raised fares and exploited new revenue streams like charging for seats at the front of the aircraft.
He added: "The economy is weak. Government policies across Europe on air travel are appalling."
The UK's hike in airline passenger duty was cited as one example of poor government policy for airlines by O'Leary.
Ryanair is not planning any significant aircraft purchases at the moment and remaining "very cautious," he added.
Talks with Boeing, the world's biggest aircraft maker, are "going nowhere," he said.
Written by Catherine Boyle, CNBC. Twitter: @cboylecnbc.