25 AUGUST 2014
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Michael O'Leary, Chief Executive of Ryanair, seems to be blowing hot and cold on the idea of taking over the government-owned loss making Cyprus Airways. He is now saying that he is interested and is visiting the island and will have talks with officials. Last month he said that Ryanair was not particularly attracted to acquiring the airline.
"We are engaged in the process and hope something will come of it. It's a very political process down there," he told a news conference in Dublin last week that any deal would be small relative to Ryanair's overall growth strategy.
Under his company's proposal, Cyprus Airways would retain its brand and operate under a separate air operator's certificate to Ryanair, he said.
Cyprus Airways has struggled to survive against cheaper competitors and has been loss-making for years despite several attempts at a turnaround. In a bid to stay afloat it recently announced the sale of its Heathrow slots to American Airlines and will move its services to Stansted on Sunday 14 September. See BTN 23 June http://cyprusair.com
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