Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has claimed that rival Norwegian Air will be the next airline to go bust.
The outspoken chief of the Irish airline has dropped the prediction following the collapse of Thomas Cook.
More than 150,000 Brit holidaymakers were left stranded by Thomas Cook’s demise with thousands also out of jobs.
But O’Leary is now predicting that budget airline Norwegian will be next in line – something the airline strongly denies.
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And Norwegian have quickly responded, hitting out at O’Leary for being a “broken record”.
A spokesman told the Mirror: "These comments are from the same broken record and have no root in reality.
"Norwegian continues to fly an increasing number of passengers as we continue to focus on building a strong, sustainable and profitable business to benefit our customers, employees and shareholders.”
O’Leary made the bold prediction at a press conference with Reuters.
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He predicted that in five years there will be just “four carriers” dominating Europe.
O’Leary claimed one of those four will be Ryanair, with the rest closing or merging with others airlines.
He told how he also reckons environmental taxes will eventually force more carriers out of business.
And commenting on the collapse of Thomas Cook, O’Leary said Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) also had a share of the blame.
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"How you can licence Thomas Cook in April as fit to fly for another 12 months and then it goes bust in September. (It) is something the CAA needs to address," he said.
"The CAA should be much more aggressive in requiring the shareholders of those companies to put much more cash to get through the year, rather than allowing them to continuously fail."
He added that the package holiday market overall was in trouble, as airlines can now offer cheap fares.
"People under 40 don't book package holidays," O'Leary said.
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