Ryanair fuelsprice war with 1m seats sale

Ryanair fuelsprice war with 1m seats sale

its European network.

O'Leary said he originally planned to make the new fares higher, but had decided to reduce the prices after BA's announcement. Ryanair prom-ised half the available 2m seats on its network during the promotion would be available at the headline price. The offer runs until September 6 for travel until October 21.

Other Ryanair flights from UK regional airports and Gatwick are not included in the sale, apart from Paris and Dublin services from Glasgow Prestwick.

Sales and marketing director Tim Jeans explained: "We are constrained with capacity out of the regions. We also want to raise our profile out of London. Other European carriers are being aggressive."

Ryanair's UK hub at Stansted is being targeted by Europe's biggest carriers, including Lufthansa, SAS and KLM UK, for extra flights.

Jeans said the sale was also designed to fill seats which otherwise have been empty.

A BA spokesman said the airline would still carry 15m European economy passengers this year despite reducing capacity. He also promised BA would launch its own European fare sale shortly.

Meanwhile, O'Leary warned Ryanair's 7.5% commission rate will drop in the future.

"We are happy with 7.5% at the moment, but it will decline in the longer term," he said.

In another blow to agents, Ryanair has upgraded its Web site to allow bookings on-line.

The site can be found at: www.ryanair.com

n See Backchat, page 74

RYANAIR has stepped up its price war with British Airways by offering 1m low-cost fares from Stansted.

The Irish carrier's chief executive Michael O'Leary said the latest deals were a response to BA's plans to carry fewer low-yield customers by reducing capacity and increasing the size of its business-class cabins.

One-way fares range from £15.99 to £25.99 inclusive of tax to all Ryanair's destinations from Stansted. Usual fares are around £49 one way.

"We will take as many BA passengers as possible after BA announced its ludicrous scheme," said O'Leary.

Ryanair claimed 80% of air travellers across Europe were leisure customers and it would benefit significantly from BA's move. Ryanair also anticipates it will increase revenues when BA cuts loss-making short-haul routes, possibly up to 25% of its European network.

O'Leary said he originally planned to make the new fares higher, but had decided to reduce the prices after BA's announcement. Ryanair prom-ised half the available 2m seats on its network during the promotion would be available at the headline price. The offer runs until September 6 for travel until October 21.

Other Ryanair flights from UK regional airports and Gatwick are not included in the sale, apart from Paris and Dublin services from Glasgow Prestwick.

Sales and marketing director Tim Jeans explained: "We are constrained with capacity out of the regions. We also want to raise our profile out of London. Other European carriers are being aggressive."

Ryanair's UK hub at Stansted is being targeted by Europe's biggest carriers, including Lufthansa, SAS and KLM UK, for extra flights.

Jeans said the sale was also designed to fill seats which otherwise have been empty.

A BA spokesman said the airline would still carry 15m European economy passengers this year despite reducing capacity. He also promised BA would launch its own European fare sale shortly.

Meanwhile, O'Leary warned Ryanair's 7.5% commission rate will drop in the future.

"We are happy with 7.5% at the moment, but it will decline in the longer term," he said.

In another blow to agents, Ryanair has upgraded its Web site to allow bookings on-line.

The site can be found at: www.ryanair.com

n See Backchat, page 74

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