Ryanair is still Europe’s most valuable airline

Ryanair claimed it has set a new record with weekly bookings of three million, writes Eamon Quinn.

The news is in another sign that the airline is emerging from one of its most turbulent periods after its staff-roster fiasco frightened investors.

Its shares, which rose slightly to around €16 in the latest session, have dropped steeply since September when the airline’s self-inflicted wounds over a shortage of pilots first emerged.

Touching €19.75 in August, Ryanair shares were trading at a record high–boosted by the huge expansion of bookings as Europe’s economic recovery finally picked up pace after the debt crisis.

They then slumped to €13.33 before clawing back as investors totted up the costs of the airline conceding recognition for the first time of trade unions amid the threat of strikes at its busiest bases in Europe. However, the current share price of €16 still makes Ryanair the most valuable of Europe’s big three, with a market worth of €18.8bn.

Shares in IAG, which owns of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and Veuling, fell 1.75% in the latest session to trade in Madrid at €7.37, close to their all-time high of €7.68.

That values the airline as Europe’s second most valuable, at €15.17bn. Its shares trade in Madrid and London.

Lufthansa, whose shares had a spectacular climb last year and almost tripled to touch a record high of €31.26 in Frankfurt, were boosted by the collapse of rival Air Berlin.

Yesterday, they were trading at €29.14, down 4%, valuing the airline at 14.06bn.


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