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Ryanair to shift focus away from UK routes following Brexit vote

Ryanair is to focus its growth plans within European Union / Ryanair

Ryanair is poised to focus on expanding its business within the European Union following the Brexit vote.

The airline's outspoken chief executive, who was a vocal Remain supporter in the lead up to the EU referendum, confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that the company will now "pivot" all of its growth into the EU market.

"We are taking another 50 aircraft next year. Would we place any of those in the UK? It is highly unlikely," said the boss. “We will pivot all of our growth into the European Union.”

O'Leary appears to be following through on statements made earlier this year around the issue, in which he repeatedly warned he would cut investment in Britain if it voted to leave.

The budget travel company carries more than 100 million passengers a year, with UK routes accounting for 40 million of those individuals, it's largest transport hub is Stansted Airport.

Shares in the airline have seen sharp decline since the Brexit result was confirmed on Friday, with British Airway's parent group issuing a profit warning and EasyJet confirming yesterday that earnings would be hit. Yesterday (27 June) Ryanair's shares had fallen by more than 23 per cent in light of the uncertain political landscape.

O'Leary added that he expects the UK to eventually negotiate some sort of access to the EU market, and that failing that the Irish company could seek a UK lisense to maintain traffic rights - something that could entail higher costs.

Ryanair found itself in a spot of trouble earlier this month after a 'Brexit Special' campaign it ran was reported to the police by Vote Leave for supposedly "breaching" bribery laws.

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