RYANAIR TO BUY 200 BOEINGS IN $18 BILLION ORDER - Ryanair has placed an $18 billion (€14 billion) order with Boeing to buy up to 200 aircraft, the Irish Independent has learned. The mammoth order - due to be confirmed by US President Barack Obama and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the White House next week - is the single biggest aircraft purchase ever agreed by Ryanair. It's also one of the biggest orders ever placed with Seattle-based manufacturer Boeing. It means Ryanair has all but thrown in the towel in its seven-year battle to buy Aer Lingus, and will now focus once more on its own long-term expansions efforts. A spokesman for the airline declined to comment. The EU blocked Ryanair's third Aer Lingus takeover attempt two weeks ago. The order will be used to replace some existing aircraft in Ryanair's fleet, but it means the carrier will be in a position to extend its footprint to even more corners of Europe and outside the region. Ryanair is on target to carry 80 million passengers in the year to the end of this month, and is in talks with as many as 60 airports about either adding services or flying to them for the first time.
UNION AGREES NOT TO ESCALATE THREATS OF INDUSTRIAL ACTION OVER IBRC REDUNANCIES - The Irish Bank Officials Association agreed yesterday not to ramp up its threat of industrial action at Irish Bank Resolution Corporation to allow the special liquidators additional time to consider the union's demands for extended contracts and improved redundancy terms, reports the Irish Times. The IBOA is seeking contract extensions for its 500 members at IBRC beyond the three months offered to them in February in the wake of the Government's shock decision to liquidate the bank. The union is also seeking suitable redundancy terms for the staff, who had expected to be working on the wind-down of IBRC for a number of years. As it stands they are entitled only to statutory redundancy terms. At a meeting last night between executives of the IBOA and IBRC's special liquidators, Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG, a 48-hour standstill was agreed to allow for consideration of these issues. It is not clear what solace the special liquidators might ultimately be able to offer staff at IBRC, as they are bound by the legislation surrounding the bank's liquidation.
HEALTHCARE TECHNOLOGY FIRM TO CREATE 30 JOBS AFTER €7.3m US INVESTMENT - Cork-based Lincor Solutions, a healthcare technology company, has secured a €7.3m investment from US venture capital firm, Edison Ventures resulting in the creation of 30 jobs. The money raised will be used to help relaunch the company in the US, says the Irish Examiner. Its corporate headquarters will move to Nashville, Tennessee but it will maintain research, product development, customer support and international sales at its facilities at Cork and Dublin. Lincor chief executive Richard Cooke said the company will use the investment for product development and expanding into the US market. "This financing will enable us to aggressively expand our market presence both in the US and globally with an accelerated programme of product development. We view this investment by Edison Ventures, with its prior experience and success with other leading healthcare information technology companies, as a fantastic endorsement of our products, track record and management team." Lincor specialises in equipment that allows nurses and doctors access medical records, x-rays and scans through a secure bedside platform. The system also provides multimedia entertainment, interactive education and communications services for the patient.
UK JOBS MARKET GIVEN LIFT BY BANKS HIRING TO DEAL WITH PPI SCANDAL - The UK jobs market is in its rudest health for five years, but the resurgence may only be temporary as banks hire thousands of workers to deal with mis-selling claims, recruitment firm Manpower says today. The London Independent says that Manpower's monthly snapshot of employment prospects, which surveys more than 2,100 companies, is a picture of apparent strength with 6% of employers looking to take on extra staff - the strongest result since the pre-recession days of 2008. But Manpower's UK managing director Mark Cahill said "all is not what it seems in the UK jobs market". The strongest performing sector in the survey was business and finance, in the midst of a hiring boom to deal with a flood of mis-sold payment protection insurance and interest rate swap claims. Manpower estimates 20,000 staff have been taken on to deal with this. Mr Cahill said the hirings were "real jobs for real people" but there were questions over how sustainable the surge in employment is. He said: "We must not be fooled by the figures. These extra jobs are not a sign of a thriving banking sector looking optimistically to future growth - these roles are all about clearing up mistakes from the past." Mr Cahill also warned: "Despite attempts to put a lid on the amount that the banks pay out on PPI, within the last month alone we have seen big names like Barclays and Lloyds massively raise the amount of money set aside to deal with PPI claims. A whopping £17 billion pounds has already been allocated, and some commentators think that number could rise much further".