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Ryanair has become the champion airline of Europe


Ryanair is the best airline in Europe.

Yup, that’s right. The most hated and ridiculed carrier on the entire continent is the best. The uber-loathed, toilet-charging, seat-removing Michael O’Leary leads an airline that carries more passengers, makes more money and is worth more than any other airline in Europe.

The business side of the argument is easy. After a week of trading updates from Europe’s main airlines, Ryanair emerged by far the strongest. The Irish no-frills carrier put out a profit warning, but compared to rivals it was like the Queen complaining of a shortage of horses.

It said it would make profit ‘only’ at the lower end of a 200-300 million euro range, but 200 million euros? BA lost 110 million euros in the first quarter alone, and the shares rose. Even Lufthansa, the strongest of the main European airlines, is forecast to make a measly 8 million euros this year.

EasyJet is doing well, and will make a profit this year – just. Ryanair is streets ahead.

BA horror show should quell talk of “green shoots”


Willie Walsh likes to tell it as it is.

Recent weeks have seen smatterings of good economic news. Sectors that took the full weight of the recession last year said they were staggering to their feet now spring is here.

Retail: John Lewis had its best week of the year so far from 2nd-9th May.

Leisure: Pubs group Greene King said things have ‘generally improved’ since the start of the year.

BAA airport sell-off: consumer boost or weak compromise?


The Competition Commission has ordered airport operator BAA to sell Stansted and either Edinburgh or Glasgow aiport, once it has completed the sale of Gatwick. The commission has been looking into BAA’s dominance of airports in Scotland and England’s south-east for two years and decided that the lack of competition between airports has been detrimental to passengers.

The commission’s final report also recommends that the airports be sold within two years and that they be sold in sequence, starting with Gatwick.