Ryanair announce 10% profit jump; O'Leary gives latest on Aer Lingus bid

Ryanair has announced a 10% jump in profit for the first half of the year to €596m.

Ryanair has announced a 10% jump in profit for the first half of the year to €596m.

The airline says it carried 48 million passengers in the six month period, marking a 7% increase from 44.7 million in September of last year. Average fares rose 6%.

Chief Executive Michael O'Leary has also issued a statement on the company's bid for Aer Lingus, setting out steps they are taking to try and address any concerns about the move at European level.

He says Ryanair is determined to explore all commercial options to address those worries in order to get the green light.

“Consolidation is an essential part of making EU airlines more competitive. It has already taken place in core EU countries via IAG (Iberia and BMI merger), AF\KLM (including their investment in Alitalia) and Lufthansa (via takeovers of Austrian, Brussels Airlines and Swiss)," he said.

"That process is now spreading to peripheral countries as Aegean merges with Olympic in Greece, TAP is sold in Portugal and Ryanair bids again for Aer Lingus.

"As part of the EU’s Phase 2 review which began on August 29, Ryanair has submitted an unprecedented remedies package, under which multiple up-front buyers will commit to open new bases in Ireland, and enter all of the Ryanair/Aer Lingus crossover routes which are not currently served by other substantial airline competitors.

"We believe this is the first EU airline merger where the remedies proposed delivers not one, but at least two up-front buyer remedies, and where all of the “merger to monopoly routes” are remedied not just by passive slot divestments but by active up-front buyers and new market entrants.

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