Expatica news

Charleroi’s biggest client orders more planes

24 February 2005

BRUSSELS – Low-cost airline Ryanair has ordered 140 new planes, announcing it intends to become Europe’s largest carrier.

The Irish airline, which is Belgium’s Charleroi airport’s biggest customer, wants to double its global passenger numbers from now until 2012.

The plans will take the company from an expected total of 34 million passengers in 2005/6 to 70 million by 2011/12.

At a press conference in London on Thursday, managing director Michael O’Leary said Ryanair’s contract with Boeing represented EUR 3 billion and would mean a doubling in its employees from 2008-2012.

He said by the end of the expansion some 2,500 new jobs would be created, including pilots, cabin crew and technicians.

The company is already waiting to take delivery of an extra 100 Boeing 737-800 which it had ordered. By the end of this year, O’Leary said Ryanair will employ 3000 people, including 800 pilots, 400 more workers than at the moment.

Its new planes are Boeing 737-800, which can take 50 extra passengers than the older 737-200. O’Leary said that would make flights more cost-effective.

He also said Boeing is to add more aerodynamic wings to some of Ryanair’s existing 737-800 planes, an invention designed to reduce the consumption of kerosene, cutting fuel costs dramatically.

Ryanair’s announcement boosted its share price on the Dublin stock exchange by 3.9 percent to EUR 6.38 each, but has surprised some analysts after the companies’ narrow margins last year.

The is currently company battling a European Commission ruling that it should repay subsidies received from Wallonia for making a base at Charleroi.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

    Subject: Belgian news