Ryanair considers ‘zero-bag’ flights to reduce fuel costs – Telegraph: “Ryanair considers ‘zero-bag’ flights to reduce fuel costs
Budget airline Ryanair has responded to rising oil prices and nosediving profits with new cost-cutting proposals.
By Oliver Smith
Ryanair’s annual profits have slumped by 85% Photo: EPA
Ryanair is considering the introduction of a hand-luggage only rule on some future flights in a bid to cut costs. Any such proposal is likely to affect early morning and midweek departures which normally contain a high proportion of business travellers.
“Should the idea be introduced, it will be confined to non-tourist routes and flights,” said Daniel de Carvalho, a spokesman for the budget airline. “It is part of our general policy to encourage passengers to travel with just hand luggage.”
The plan will save the airline spending any money on airport baggage handlers and reduce the fuel bill by virtue of a lighter plane.
Dublin-based Ryanair is also likely to become the first airline to introduce mobile phones onto its aircraft, with testing likely to begin next month, a move that will offer another source of revenue.
“Should our commercial testing prove successful, it will be rolled out onto our entire fleet, providing substantial revenue,” said Mr de Carvalho. Ryanair recently announced that its annual after-tax profits had plummeted by 85 per cent to 21 million euros, largely due to the price of oil. The carrier has also said it will temporarily stop flying to seven airports this winter, including Basel, Budapest, Palma and Valencia. The airline has opened discussions with each of the 147 airports it uses, in an effort to negotiate better deals, while new fast-drop kiosks are due to be installed at Stansted and Dublin in October. Ryanair has also been approached over contracts at new airports, where other carriers have cut their routes. The soaring cost of oil has seen dozens of airlines announce cutback in their services. EasyJet cut 12 per cent of its capacity at Stansted airport last week, while BA are expected to deliver cuts to its timetables. Other airlines have used less conventional methods to reduce fuel bills, including the removal of on-board magazine racks and ovens.