Air Transport World

Southwest style in Europe.(Ryanair)(Company Profile)

DUBLIN--Michael O'Leary's vision of the European aviation scene post-1997, when Common Market liberalization is complete, is a series of low-cost, low-fare, no-frills airlines sprouting up to challenge the traditional carriers and their "outrageously high fares."

O'Leary's theory is worth listening to on the subject, for as CEO of Ryanair, he is one of the architects of the independent Irish airline's startling success in the lowfare market that has seen its passenger numbers rocket from 1.1 million in 1993 to an expected 2.3 million this year.

But according to him, before the dream of a low-fare Europe can become full reality, a number of reforms will have to come into effect.

* Airports: "European airports, not because of design but through their operating procedures, are inefficient. We have procedures which require airliners to stack, queue and spend wasteful time on the ground. Aircraft do not make money while on the ground."

* CRSs: "Present EU legislation requires they charge all customers equally. This is a barrier to lower fares and new entrants. I take great exception to paying Galileo over ISA ($6.20) for a return booking for a I59 fare, when other airlines selling first-class seats at thousands of pounds are paying the same booking charge. We have pulled out of Amadeus, Apollo and Sabre."

* Eurocontrol: "It is an entirely outmoded, inefficient, independent dictatorship, an impediment which may well drag us all down. …

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