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Ryanair to halt expansion programme

Leading budget airline Ryanair has today confirmed plans to refocus the business and potentially deliver increased income to shareholders if a deal to acquire further planes from Boeing is not secured by the end of the year. This would bring to an end years of aggressive growth from the Irish-based company which has taken on and beaten many of its rivals.

Commenting upon the potential move away from growth, chief executive Michael O'Leary confirmed that Ryanair will "change course before the end of this fiscal year and manage the airline over the next three years to maximise cash for distribution to shareholders". While there is no doubt that the industry has struggled over the last few months due to reduced business levels, higher costs and yet more taxes introduced by the government, many will be surprised to see controversial chief executive Michael O'Leary taking a step back out of the limelight.

However, when you consider the financial mess which British Airways and other airlines around the UK are in it is perhaps not as surprising as you may think. If the company decides to maximise cash distribution over the next three years we would have to ask ourselves what will happen after the initial three-year period is up?

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