Ryanair shareholders are poised for a windfall of almost €400 million on the back of the sale of the airline’s stake in Aer Lingus to British Airways parent International Airlines Group.
The proceeds from the sale of €398 million is to be distributed to shareholders in the Irish low-cost carrier, the Ryanair AGM heard today.
The distribution will be concluded, subject to approval at an extraordinary general meeting, before December.
This will bring the total funds returned by Ryanair to shareholders this year to €800 million and more than €3.3 billion since 2008.
Ryanair also briefed shareholders on further improvements planned for its ‘Always Getting Better’ passenger service initiative later this year, including new primary airports in Amsterdam, Cologne and Copenhagen, a new personalised website with advanced features, an improved mobile app, new cabin interiors, crew uniforms and improved inflight menus.
Ryanair chairman, David Bonderman, said: “During our 30th year, Ryanair will grow traffic by over 13 million to 104 million customers.
“It is clear that consumers all over Europe are delighted by, and switching to our ‘AGB’ customer experience programme, our industry leading punctuality and our unbeatable low fares. Ryanair’s combination of low fares and AGB service continues to deliver for our customers, our people and our shareholders.
“Following the sale of our 29.8% stake in Aer Lingus, the board intends to distribute the €398 million proceeds to shareholders by way of a ‘B’ share programme.
“We expect this programme will be completed – subject to EGM approval – before the end of the calendar year.
“When completed we will have returned €800 million to shareholders this year, and over €3.3 billion over the last seven years, in addition to more than doubling our share price over the last 18 months.”
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