Budget airline Ryanair wants to take on Lufthansa in Germany, its chief executive said in a newspaper interview Wednesday and predicted the German airline would fail in its bid to build a low cost business.
"We currently have market share of around 4.0 percent in Germany. In the next three to four years, we're aiming to increase it to 15-20 percent," Michael O'Leary told the business daily Handelsblatt.
He dismissed Lufthansa's plans to expand its own budget flight operations.
"There's a long history of expensive airlines trying to find a foothold in the low-cost segment. The jets are just repainted and the inflight meals are cancelled. But that doesn't make them a low-cost airline," he said.
Ryanair, which traditionally serves smaller, cheap out-of-the-way airports, is planning to expand to Germany's major airports to attract higher-paying business passengers, who are Lufthansa's core customers, O'Leary said.
"We've just started in Cologne and in the winter, we'll start flights to Hamburg and expanding our services to Berlin More airports will follow," he said.