DUBLIN Aug 27 Ryanair has moved a step
closer to making an offer to buy Cyprus Airways and
may make a firm offer early next year if this is approved by the
The airline's decision follows a meeting between Ryanair
Chief Executive Michael O'Leary last Friday with the Cypriot
government, which owns more than 90 percent of Cyprus Airways.
"Ryanair is planning to make a non-binding offer on Friday
as a result of a positive meeting last week," Chief Marketing
Officer Kenny Jacobs said. He said a couple of months of due
diligence would be required before a binding offer was possible.
Ryanair was among nearly 20 companies which last month
submitted non-binding expressions of interest in the airline,
which has been loss-making for years despite several attempts at
Ryanair said last week it could boost the airline's
passenger numbers to 3 million per year from 600,000 currently,
down 50 percent from peak.
Ryanair has only ever taken over one other airline, Buzz,
which was absorbed into the Ryanair brand.
(Reporting by Conor Humphries. Editing by Jane Merriman)