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Ryanair CEO sells shares in airline: FT

The Financial Times speculates that the chief executive’s Brexit worries may have influenced the decision.

Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary has sold two million shares in the airline, the Financial Times is reporting, speculating that the chief executive’s worries over the ongoing confusion with Brexit may have influenced his decision.

However, the airline is remaining tight-lipped about the allegations, with a spokesperson for Ryanair telling the Irish news site RTE in a statement, “We don’t comment on Michael’s personal affairs.”

O’Leary is well known for his outspoken views about Brexit and the havoc it may wreak on the airline industry in Europe.

The budget carrier has already said it is “on the pessimistic side of cautious” regarding the current financial year, elaborating that sales are expected to continue rising but at a slower rate than costs.

O’Leary is believed to have made around €72 million from the share sale, The Irish Times writes.

Turbulent year
The pilot rostering scandal and increasing fuel prices have made the last 12 months a difficult year for the low-cost airline.

Passenger numbers surged to more than 130 million with a record high load factor of 95%. But the FT reports that Ryanair’s lack of a plan if there is no Brexit aviation deal is causing turbulence among the airline’s management.

If there is no agreement by September, then summer 2019 scheduling may be affected.

“It does not appear that chief executive Michael O’Leary is optimistic: he sold 2 million shares at €16.49 (£14.44) each, leaving the airline boss with about 44.1 million shares or a 3.8% stake,” the Financial Times writes.

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