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Ryanair expects to carry 100 million passengers this year and has its sights set on becoming the “world’s biggest carrier” and “the Amazon of travel”.
Chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs hailed the success of Ryanair’s ‘makeover’ in the past year, saying: “We did a lot of things Ryanair said it would never do.”
Ryanair carried 90 million passengers in 2014 and Jacobs said: “We changed and it’s backed up by the way we’ve grown.”
Speaking at German travel trade show ITB in Berlin, Jacobs said: “We want to become potentially the world’s biggest airline.
“We carried nine million extra customers [last year]. We increased our load factor by 6% – that is 12 additional customers on every flight. But our unit costs stayed flat.
“We launched a business product. We partnered with Travelport and Amadeus on GDS [global distribution systems].”
He said Ryanair “carried 30% more traffic than a year ago” in January and February this year, insisting: “We’re carrying more business travellers.
“We’re taking market share off all our competitors, including easyJet and British Airways.”
Jacobs pledged: “We’ll further improve the GDS partnership” – although he gave no details.
He said: “By the end of this year we expect the Ryanair website to be the best of any airline in Europe, with the best mobile app, and Ryanair would never have said that before.”
Jacobs promised: “We’ll introduce a new hold-a-fare feature.” This will allow customers to hold a fare for 24 hours for €5 (£5).
He added: “We’ll launch our own live fare comparison [feature] on our site.”
Jacobs suggested Ryanair would become “like the Amazon of the travel business”, saying: “We’re going to start selling ancillaries in a more targeted way.
“We used to say we sell flights. Now we sell travel and we’re becoming a travel retailer which specialises in flights.”
He insisted: “About 50% of our growth in the next five years will be at primary airports.”
The carrier announced details of further changes last week, including new cabin interiors and a ‘customer charter’.