The boast at an aviation conference in London earned a swift rebuke from EasyJet, which said it was the country’s biggest airline, with nearly twice as many passengers last year.
The row comes weeks before the airlines start competing head on between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stansted.
Ryanair chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs told the World Low Cost Airlines Congress: “Ryanair is probably the national airline of Scotland already.”
He also joked about rebranding an aircraft as “McRyanair”.
EasyJet said it flew almost 5.4 million passengers in Scotland last year, while Ryanair was in fourth place behind British Airways and Flybe with 2.7 million.
A spokeswoman told The Scotsman newspaper: “EasyJet has long been Scotland’s largest airline – the numbers speak for themselves – and we have served the Scottish market since we started.”
Last month, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said it would be the biggest airline at Edinburgh airport – Scotland’s busiest – in two years, where it is third behind EasyJet and BA.
Sourced from Travel Weekly