Published on Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary said the airline will keep raising baggage fees until 75% of its passengers carry hand luggage only.
At a press conference yesterday, the airline's chief executive told journalists: â€œItâ€™s all about efficiency. Passengers wonâ€™t have to go near a check-in desk or pay for over-priced facilities at our rip-off airports."
Ryanair already charges Â£12 each way for passengers to check in luggage - Â£8 for the bag and another Â£4 for airport check-in.
O'Leary also warned that the economic downturn and rising fuel prices would see another British airline collapse in the next few weeks.
He predicted that two other European carriers would also go under before the end of the year.
He said Ryanair's passenger numbers were up by 20% in September, pointing out that BA's traffic fell by 6%.
Ryanair used the press conference to issue yet another attack on its rivals for their â€œunjustified fuel surchargesâ€.
It called on British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa and Aer Lingus to reduce their surcharges by at least 40%, to reflect the fall in oil prices.
It said prices have fallen by more than 40% from a high of $146 to under $90 per barrel.
The airline pointed out that BA has recently reduced its cargo fuel surcharges, but said it â€œcontinues to scam its passengers for fuel surchargesâ€.
Ryanair published figures showing that while oil prices are now almost three times higher than they were in May 2004, BAâ€™s short-haul fuel surcharge is six times higher and its long-haul fuel surcharge is over 40 times higher.
At the Advantage Travel Conference last month Richard Tams, BAâ€™s general manager UK and head of global corporate sales, said any benefit from the recent fall in oil prices had been wiped out by currency fluctuations and the airlineâ€™s fuel hedging.
He admitted the airline was coming under increasing pressure to incorporate fuel surcharges into its fares.
Ryanair, which launched 1 million seats for â‚¬1 last week, has now released 1 million seats for free, including taxes and charges, for travel from November 15 to December 16.
Flights must be booked before midnight Thursday (October 9) on the airline's website.
By Bev Fearis
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