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Published on : Sunday, November 17, 2013
Ryanair has major plans to target business travellers in the new year as it continues with a revamp of customer services in a bid to enter new markets. The news follows Thursday’s announcement of a deal between the airline and Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), that could increase the number of passengers travelling through the airport by 700,000 a year, and details of Ryanair’s plans to create 300 new jobs in the Republic.
The airline intends to hire pilots, cabin crew, along with sales, customer care staff and other grades. Chief executive Michael O’Leary said that over half the new posts are related to its expansion at Dublin Airport. “Recruitment has already started,” he added.
Addressing the Chartered Accountants’ Leinster Society lunch in Dublin, Mr O’Leary, said his company plans to use special deals to lure more business travellers to the airline. He said that he wanted to go after the customers to which Ryanair does not normally appeal – “families and business people” – in an effort to grow the airline’s passenger numbers.
Ryanair this year agreed to buy 175 new aircraft from Boeing and said it intends to grow passenger numbers from their current level of around 81 million a year to 110 million annually over the next five years.
Mr O’Leary said the measures aimed at attracting business people to the airline would include building such things as fast-track and baggage check-in into the seat price.
In a similar vein, it will also offer discounts and other incentives to families with children under 16. Up to now, the airline has not offered any concessions aimed at particular groups of passengers.
Earlier, Ryanair and DAA announced that the airline plans to launch nine new routes from Dublin Airport next year and intends increasing frequencies on a range of others, which the pair said would boost passenger numbers there by 700,000 a year from next April.
Ryanair said that as a result of the deal announced Thursday and similar agreements with Shannon and Knock airports, the number of passengers that it will fly to and from the Republic next year will increase by over one million to 10.7 million in 2014.
All three announcements were a result of the Government decision to cut the €3 travel tax to zero from next April. When the levy was introduced in 2009, the airline said it would boost passenger numbers in the Republic by one million if it were dropped.
The new routes from Dublin will be Almeria, Bari, Basel,Bucharest, Chania, Comiso, Lisbon, Marrakesh and Prague.Fri, Nov 15, 2013, 01:00