The economic downturn in Europe is clearly affecting airlines across the board, but some industry officials wonder if Ryanair could be particularly hit by the credit crisis affecting several European states.
The low-fare airline has benefited tremendously from subsidies provided by regional authorities to the carrier to fly to their local airports. But with those governments facing increased budget pressure, those subsidies may dry up, suggests an Air Europa official.
Another rival adds that airports, also, are becoming more skeptical when it comes to dealing with the low-fare behemoth. He says airport officials are growing leery of O'Leary's negotiating tactics.
But Ryanair has a way of defying sceptics, and, more likely than not, it will find a way to avoid the pain or just pass it on to passengers.