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BOEING BACKS JLA TAKE-OFF; Airport growth hailed at new Ryanair launch.

Byline: By NEIL HODGSON

AMERICAN aviation giant Boeing has hailed Liverpool John Lennon airport's success and forecasts even better times ahead.

Andy Patsalides, European marketing director for Seattle-based Boeing, jetted into JLA to mark the launch of Irish carrier Ryanair's three latest routes from Liverpool.

The Pisa, Cork and Granada routes will be served by a new Boeing 737-800 aircraft, part of a pounds 2bn fleet expansion by the airline.

Mr Patsalides said: 'This is one of the most significant expansions Boeing has worked on with Ryanair and at the end of the day the winners are the people of Liverpool.

'Ryanair do have a lot of choice as to where they base aircraft and fly to and they realise that Liverpool has got a tremendous future.'

He added: 'The way Ryanair are ordering they are our biggest customer in Europe and they are the future of air travel in Europe.'

He welcomed Liverpool's latest routes, saying: 'This is very, very good news for us. It means new routes and new business for us and it is brilliant to be in partnership with someone as successful as Ryanair.' By 2012 Ryanair aims to be flying 70m passengers a year and will have a fleet of more than 400 Boeing jets.

The 189-seat 737-800 has replaced the 130-seat 737-200. Mr Patsalides said: 'The 800 is the most modern plane you can buy at this end of the market.'

Ryanair's European head of sales and marketing, Sinead Finn, said: 'Liverpool has been a great success for us on the new routes with 75,000 bookings already and load factors of 70%. Given the fact we started them on a Tuesday it is fairly encouraging and very encouraging for more new routes out of and into Liverpool
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Apr 27, 2005
Words:294
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