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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).

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.

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.

Ryanair slides into loss in third quarter

Irish no-frills airline Ryanair said Monday that it sank into a net loss in the third quarter of its financial year, and blamed falling fares and the weaker British pound. Losses after taxation stood at 35.2 million euros ($47.5 million) in the three months to the end of December, Ryanair said in a results statement. That contrasted with a net profit of 18.1 million euros in the same period a year earlier.

Ryanair appeals Spain ban on bikini-girl ads

A Spanish judge banned adverts for a sexy calendar by Irish budget airline Ryanair showing its female flight attendants in bikinis, prompting the company on Wednesday to vow an appeal. Ryanair published advertisements late last year for its 2013 calendar, which shows young flight attendants wearing just bikinis and a smile. It said sales of the calendar raised 100,000 euros ($138,000) for charity.

UK authorities defend forced caesarean for Italian woman

British authorities have defended the decision to force a mentally-ill Italian woman to give birth by caesarean section, saying they acted in the interests of the mother and child. Claims that British social services "forcibly removed" the baby girl from the woman's womb while she was on a work trip sparked a furore at the weekend. But officials in Essex, east of London, said that health authorities had obtained a court order in August 2012 forcing the C-section "because of concerns about risks to mother and child".

UK authorities forcibly removed baby from Italian's womb

British social services forcibly removed a baby from a pregnant Italian woman's womb by caesarean section while she was in the country on a work trip, a report said on Saturday. The woman was sedated and then had the girl taken out of her body after authorities in Essex, eastern England, obtained a court order, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper said, citing her lawyers. The authorities said the woman had had a mental breakdown and it acted in the best interests of the child, which is now 15 months old, the paper said.

Budget airline Ryanair returns to Prague airport with flights to London, Dublin

PRAGUE - Budget airline Ryanair says it is returning to Prague's international airport with flights to London and Dublin. Europe's leading budget airline says it will operate daily flights from Prague's Vaclav Havel Airport to London Stansted and five flights a week to Dublin, starting April 1, 2014. The ticket price will initially start at 769 koruna ($38) to London Stansted and 819 koruna ($41) to Dublin. Ryanair cancelled those routes in 2010 because it considered airport fees too high.

Belgian court rules self 'incompetent' in ex-Ryanair staff claims

Six ex-employees of Ryanair who took the low-cost airline to court claiming some 20,000 euros each were left high and dry Monday by a Belgian court that ruled itself incompetent, national media reported. The Belgian, Spanish and Portuguese air hostesses and stewards claimed Ryanair cheated them out of extra money they would have earned had they been employed under Belgian law instead of Irish employee protections.
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