Ryanair focuses on digital acceleration in ‘Always Getting Better’ programme

Ryanair focuses on digital acceleration in ‘Always Getting Better’ programme

Image via Patryk Kosmider / Shutterstock.com

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary raised the prospect of free air fares if ancillary sales continue to thrive.

O’Leary was speaking at the launch of the carrier’s third year of its ‘Always Getting Better’ (AGB) initiative, where a host of changes to its website and app were unveiled.

Asked whether the carrier intended to stick to its vow to reduce fares to an average of €25, chief executive Michael O’Leary indicated it may go even further.

“I would like to say average air fares for Ryanair will be €10 in the next five years,” he said.

“Currently it is €40-€45, but I hope if we can double in size we can bring down prices. Why not free or €1 in 10 years’ time?

“Why can’t we keep driving down the cost of air travel? The more optional [ancillary] services we can sell, the more the underlying air fare can fall.”

A ‘one flick’ payment system on the mobile app and a new ‘Leisure Plus’ bundle fare including reserved seats, priority boarding and 20kg bag are being introduced as part of the AGB initiative, along with a ‘My Ryanair’ club providing discounts and 24-hour priority access to seat sales.

The airline also aims to improve its Business Plus service with more flexible ticketing, fast-track boarding at more airports and auto-check-in.

Simplified baggage options will give six booking options for bags, down from 108, and destination guides, featuring targeted information and offers, are due to be added to the Ryanair website in July.

Travel extras will become bookable via the carrier’s mobile app, including seat upgrades, fast-track boarding, car parking and transfers.

A dedicated bonded travel agency will be available for booking schools tours with discounted travel.

A website for group bookings is also planned as part of the enhancements to be introduced over the year.

The changes come on top of already announced new aircraft interiors including LED lighting.

“We want to have Europe’s most accessible travel content,” said Ryanair chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs.

“Year three will be about digital acceleration and innovation, particularly through our Ryanair Labs digital developments.

“The one thing that won’t change will be our low-fares, and we’ll continue to offer the biggest and best choice of destinations, with the most on-time flights and a fantastic onboard experience, as we grow our fleet, traffic and routes.”Ryanair has 7.5 million app customers.

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