Ryanair has said improvements to customer service- which was largely non-existent before boss Michael O’Leary’s change of heart about his no-frills approach- has increased the number of passengers per flight by at least six compared to last year.
The budget airlines chief finance man Howard Millar said better customer service and the way it sold tickets had increased the number of passenger bums on seats by three to four per cent this year.
Increased ticket sales would likely be offset by a drop in ticket prices however, due to increased capacity from the new fleet it is buying from Boeing said O’Leary.
As new capacity comes online, fares were likely to fall by around 20 percent over the next five years, after adjusting for inflation, and by up to 40 percent by 2024, he said.
The outspoken boss also admitted his bid to take over troubled airline Cyprus Airways was likely to be unsuccessful.
"On balance it's more likely to go to Greece [Greek airline Aegean], but we'll make it difficult for them by offering very rapid growth," he told reporters in Dublin.
The budget airline expects its first flights to Russia to take off as soon as summer next year if a deal over marketing budgets can be agreed with the Irish tourist board. So far the organisation has refused to contribute.
Proposed routes are for flights from Dublin to Moscow and St Petersburg with all the required paperwork completed, O’Leary said.