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EasyJet soars to record high as UK's FTSE edges higher

By Sudip Kar-Gupta LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's top equity index edged up on Friday, with airline easyJet <EZJ.L> hitting record highs after robust traffic figures, although investors were reluctant to place big bets ahead of key U.S. jobs data later in the day. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index <.FTSE> was up by 0.4 percent, or 24.55 points, at 6,673.69 points - within touching distance of three-week highs.

Strikes hit German airports as public sector pushes for higher pay

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's main airports were hit by a strike on Thursday morning, as public sector workers expanded industrial action to put more pressure on the government in pay talks. The strikes are taking place at airports across Germany, including Frankfurt, Europe's third-largest hub, and Munich, both of which are mainly served by Lufthansa, Germany's No.1 airline.

Europe's love-hate airline, Ryanair, plans to treat customers better in pursuit of more growth

LONDON - Michael O'Leary knows full well that many people consider him a provocative jerk and his European juggernaut of an airline, Ryanair, an exercise in frustration. Now he wants you to meet the cuddly new Mick. Ryanair last year carried more than 81 million people to 186 destinations, bigger than any European rival. It's positioned to record fiscal 2014 net profits above 500 million euros ($690 million).

EasyJet predicts smaller losses

British no-frills airline EasyJet said on Tuesday it expected to report lower losses than thought for its first half year, and its shares rose sharply. EasyJet said in a statement that it expected pre-tax losses of £55-65 million ($91-107 million, 65-77 million euros) rather than of £70-90 million for the six months to the end of March, helped by cuts to costs. The price of shares in the group jumped 4.47 percent to stand at 1,705 pence in early deals on London's FTSE 100 index, which was up 0.98 percent to 6,584.08 points.

EU to rule on state aid for 28 airports, airlines by September

By Foo Yun Chee and Barbara Lewis BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union regulators aim to rule by September whether state aid granted to 28 airports and budget airlines, such as Ryanair, is legal, the European Commission said on Thursday as it unveiled tougher laws to ban public funds for big airports. The new rules replace 1994 and 2005 guidelines and specify whether and how much aid EU authorities can grant to the more than 460 airports across the 28-country bloc.

Norwegian orders four more Dreamliners and reports Q4 losses

Norwegian Air Shuttle announced on Thursday the lease of four more Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, despite a series of technical hitches with the planes. The contract, which brings Norwegian's planned Dreamliner fleet to 14, was signed with the US aircraft leasing company International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) but no financial details were released. The aircraft -- which can accommodate up to 20 percent more passengers over longer distances than the Boeing 787-8 planes the company currently operates on long-haul routes -- are due for delivery in 2017 and 2018.

Norwegian orders four more Dreamliners and reports Q4 losses

Norwegian Air Shuttle announced on Thursday the lease of four more Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, despite a series of technical hitches with the planes. The contract, which brings Norwegian's planned Dreamliner fleet to 14, was signed with the US aircraft leasing company International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) but no financial details were released. The aircraft -- which can accommodate up to 20 percent more passengers over longer distances than the Boeing 787-8 planes the company currently operates on long-haul routes -- are due for delivery in 2017 and 2018.

EasyJet fined 50,000 euros in disabled discrimination case

A French appeals court on Tuesday increased a fine imposed on budget airline easyJet tenfold to 50,000 euros ($68,000) for having forced a disabled woman off a flight. The court rejected a prosecution request for the fine to be increased to 70,000 euros but went far beyond the 5,000 euro fine initially imposed on the carrier. The British company had appealed the May 2012 verdict that found it had violated the rights of wheelchair-bound Marie-Patricia Hoarau by ordering her removed from flight.

Ryanair slides into loss, reassures on annual profit

Ryanair fell into an expected loss during its third quarter as lower fares and an unfavourable exchange-rate offset rising passenger numbers, the Irish no-frills airline said on Monday. The airline reported a loss after tax of 35.2 million euros ($47.5 million) in the three months to the end of December. That contrasted with net profit of 18.1 million euros in the same period a year earlier.

Ryanair slides into loss, reassures on annual profit

Ryanair fell into an expected loss during its third quarter as lower fares and an unfavourable exchange-rate offset rising passenger numbers, the Irish no-frills airline said on Monday. The airline reported a loss after tax of 35.2 million euros ($47.5 million) in the three months to the end of December. That contrasted with net profit of 18.1 million euros in the same period a year earlier.
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