Ryanair and Brexit changes

Ryanair has made a number of announcements this week which may affect the operating of the company in the near future. Restrictions in regards to buying and voting right for UK shareholders and the ordering of new Boeing planes may have adverse effects on the companies operating procedures in the coming months.

It was, however, the news regarding Brexit that has stirred the most controversy in the ever interesting Ryanair.

EU Regulations

Due to existing EU regulations regarding airlines operating within the EU, UK shareholders are set to lose voting rights and the ability to attend shareholder meetings following a meeting on Frida.

Current regulations stipulate that the majority of shares must be held by those within the EU block. This has forced a number of tough decisions in recent weeks as a no-deal Brexit looks more likely.

The new rules for shareholders will put them in line with shareholders from other non-EU jurisdictions. At the moment UK shareholders account for roughly 20% of total shareholders of the company noted RTE.

While it’s still unclear how a no deal Brexit will affect flights and laws in regards to travel, Michael O’Leary wanted to be clear that a no-deal will also affect shareholders. These announcements saw share prices drop by 2% in London during the week.

These changes to UK voting rights came about following a meeting on Friday. The rules are designed to ensure the airline stays majority owned within the EU and to limit the effects of a no-deal Brexit as noted in RTE.

The rules are set to come into effect on the 29th of March. Brexit day.

Among the rules are stipulations ensuring stocks can only be sold to EU entities and that shareholders cannot buy more stock.

In a statement to the stock market, Ryanair said: “These resolutions will remain in place until the board determines that the ownership and control of the company is no longer such that there is any risk to the airline licences held by the company’s subsidiaries.”

New Boeing models

Alongside the disruption caused by Brexit, there have been concerns raised over new planes the company plans to add to its fleet in the coming months.

Following the recent Ethiopian airlines crash, there has been concern over the Boeing model 737 Max 8s jet. As this is the second crash in recent months with this specific model.

At the moment Ryanair has said there are no plans to change the order. This may change once details of the crash and its causes emerge.

“We wouldn’t take any action at the moment,” said Ryanair head Michael O’Leary in an interview with the Irish Independent.

“We need to wait and see what the outcome of the investigation will be,” said he continue.

He added: “Our first delivery is at the end of April. Like all other airlines around the world, we will follow whatever guidance comes out from Boeing and EASA on the European side.”

Earlier this week chinese airlines grounded the model and a Varibbean operator suspended all flights using the plane. Although at the moemnt there has been no negative findings.

Both Norwegian and Ethipopian airlines have also suspended flights. Although most have said this is ajuts a precaustion and they will follow the reccomendations of the aviation aithorities.

Experts from Boeing have flown to Ethipopia to investigate the cause of the most recent crash.

The crash which occurred during the week claimed the lives of over 180 people form 30 different countries. This is the second crash invovling the same model aircraft with another having occurred in Indonesia with the company Lionair.

As Michael O Leary has stated the company will follow the recommendations of the aviation authority.

Irish Victim

There was one Irish passenger among the dead, Mick Ryan from Co.Clare. Mr Ryan had been working with the UN World Food programme and was among 19 UN personnel who were travelling on the flight reported the Irish Independent.

The plane crashed into a field six minutes after take-off with no known cause yet.

The plane was travelling to Nairobi in Kenya when it got into difficulty. Other passengers were from Britain, Germany, Slovakia, France and Italy.

It is Brexit which will have the most immediate impact on the fortunes of the company especially for those in the UK who once again will be feeling the brunt of the knock-on effects of Brexit.