17-May-07: Ryanair intends to be Spain´s leading carrier within five years, but not just in the low cost segment, chairman Michael 0´Leary said.
Speaking to reporters, O´Leary also said the no frills carrier wants to transport 20 million passengers annually over the five-year period, more than its rival Spanish flag carrier Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana SA. But he noted that if British Airways buys Iberia, then this could happen even sooner.
Earlier, Ryanair announced seven new routes from Madrid, which will be operational from November. With these additions, the airline will transport 9 million passengers. With regard to a third base in Spain, O´Leary said: "I suspect this will be located in the south," contrasting with comments made in January that Ryanair had chosen Reus, near Tarragona in the north east, depending on the infrastructure situation.