Ryanair to bid for Cyprus Airways

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Budget airline Ryanair has confirmed that it plans to bid for the Cypriot national airline, which is up for sale.

Ryanair's chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, told BBC Radio 5 live that it would submit its business proposal for Cyprus Airways in time for the bid deadline on Friday.

The Cypriot authorities say they expect to get about 15 different proposals.

The loss-making state-controlled airline's new owner should be announced by the beginning of October.

Mr Jacobs told the BBC that Ryanair had "a very positive meeting" with the Cypriot government and the airline last week.

He said the eastern Mediterranean was "a really fast-growing area" for travel.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has previously said his airline believes it can boost the Cypriot flag-carrier's annual passenger numbers from their current level of 600,000 to three million.

Mr Jacobs was speaking as Ryanair launched its latest attempt to woo more business travellers, who already make up a quarter of its passengers.

The airline's new Business Plus ticket, which starts from £59.99, will offer free flight changes and a 20kg checked-in baggage allowance, as well as "premium seating".

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