Ryanair not hopeful of buying Cyprus Airways

Ryanair is in the second round of bidders to take over loss-making Cyprus Airways, chief executive Michael O’Leary said on Friday, Reuters reports.

Mr O’Leary said his company would meet with auditor KPMG in Cyprus on Friday, but did not know how the process of selling the loss-making airline, which is more than 90%-owned by the Cypriot government, would proceed.

”We’re down to the second round of bidders. I don’t even know who (else) is in the second round,” Mr O’Leary said after a news conference in Rome.

Cyprus’s transport minister said in September that Greece’s Aegean and Ryanair were among companies that had submitted non-binding bids to acquire Cyprus Airways.

Mr O’Leary said yesterday that he had “no idea” whether Ryanair’s bid would be successful.

”We have said publicly we don’t expect to be successful because we suspect that the Cypriots will probably lean in favour of Aegean,” Mr O’Leary said.

Meanwhile, ‘Famagusta Gazette’ reports that Ryanair has lifted its full-year profit forecast and reported a 32% rise in half-year net profit to €795m.

It said the full-year profit would now be between €750m and €770m, compared with its previous forecast of €650m.

Passenger numbers rose 4% in the first half of the year, and it now expects traffic to rise 16% in the second half.

In a recent press conference, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said that with the help of the Irish low-cost airline, Cyprus Airways could get back on a path of rapid growth with new roots and more flights that would increase the number of its passengers to three million per year, creating at the same time new jobs.

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