Ryanair is looking to expand its grasp on Europe even more. Over the coming years, the Irish mega-airline would look to acquire more small airlines, allowing the Ryanair group to further increase its European coverage.
While Ryanair started out as a small low-cost airline, its success has seen it grow and grow. This has seen it open a subsidiary, Ryanair Sun, in Poland, and outright purchase another airline in Austria. In line with these tactics, the airline’s CEO, Michael O’Leary is looking to acquire one or two more small airlines.
Full European Coverage?
Ryanair now operates flights with airlines based in three countries. The primary operation of the airline is based in Dublin, however, the airline’s main hub is London Stansted in the United Kingdom. Ryanair Sun is the airline’s Polish subsidiary who is headquartered in Warsaw. Last year Ryanair purchased a 75% share in Niki Lauda’s airline, Laudamotion, however, the airline recently upped its share to 100%. Laudamotion is headquartered in Schwechat, Austria.
According to the Irish Examiner Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s infamous CEO spoke about his plans for the Ryanair “group”.
“You’ll see in the next couple of years, I’d like to see Ryanair evolve as kind of a group of different airlines. We will have Ryanair based out of Ireland, you’ll have Laudamotion based out of Austria, you’ll have Ryanair Sun … in Poland,”
He went on to add: “That will, I think, allow us in the next number of years to maybe add one or two other airlines. Now, nothing big but if there were some small-scale opportunities that popped up like the Laudamotion opportunity then we could do it”
With the help of parent company Ryanair, Laudamotion is set to undergo a fairly rapid expansion in the next three years. According to reports, this summer Laudamotion’s fleet will expand to 25. This would further increase up to 30 in the following summer. This would allow the low-cost subsidiary to operate out of four bases including Vienna, Stuttgart, Palma, and Düsseldorf. In 2022 Laudamotion expects to carry 10 million passengers, up from 4 million in 2018.
Ambition Despite Profit Warning
Ryanair’s Ambitious expansion plans come despite the airline issuing a profit warning just two weeks ago. A profit warning is issued when a company expects its profits will significantly lower than forecast. This means it’s not such a shock when the results are announced. While this action led to Flybe being put up for sale, in Ryanair’s case it isn’t expected to be too bad. In fact, the profit warning is as the airline’s profits are expected to be between €1.0bn and €1.1bn. This is down around €0.1bn from the previously forecast €1.1bn to €1.2bn.
Which small airlines would you like to see Ryanair purchase? Let us know in the comments down below!