Ryanair predicts beating BA

June 1, 2005 at 9:35 AM

LONDON, June 1 (UPI) -- Irish discount airline Ryanair has predicted it will soon be flying more passengers than British Airways.

Chief Executive Michael O'Leary predicted Ryanair would grow by 27 percent and carry 35 million passengers in 2005, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

That would mean Ryanair's European operations would exceed the total number of passengers carried by the whole of BA's short-haul and long-haul operations, FT said.

"Our outlook for the coming 12 months is more positive than it was this time last year," O'Leary said. "We expect to overtake BA's monthly traffic later this summer.

"This is a significant milestone for a small Irish airline which only started flying in 1985 and means the world's favorite airline is being overtaken by the world's lowest-price airline. Does it matter that we are bigger than BA? No. But it does show that the public is refusing to be conned into paying high prices for so-called superior service."

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