Europe's largest low-cost airline is making changes to its offerings regarding the number of short-distance flights it carries, according to Reuters. The news source reports that Ryanair expects passenger growth to slow this year as a result, though chief executive Michael O'Leary predicts a slight increase of about 3 to 4 percent in passenger numbers.
While the company is operating fewer short flights, it's also expanding the number of its long-haul flights, hoping to add new Boeing aircraft to its fleet in late 2013 or early 2014, depending on what type of improvements have been made to the product.
Additionally, Ryanair is also still discussing a bid with the European Commission to take over Aer Lingus, its Irish rival. According to the news source, the Irish government, which owns 25 percent of Aer Lingus, opposes the takeover.
Analyst Stephen Furlong has a different opinion and sees a more lucrative growth for the airline, according to the Irish Examiner.
"Ryanair has circa 12 percent of the European short-haul market and sees the potential to grow profitable to 120 million passengers per annum over the next 10 years," Furlong told the news source. "We see the story returning to one of growth which could lead to multiple expansion."