BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
Ryanair has revealed further details of its new corporate tickets aimed at business travellers.
The new corporate fares will go on sale at the end of August, and will include flexible tickets, fast track at select airports and premium allocated seating.
The airline has gradually been adapting its practices to attract more business travellers, following the lead of arch-rival Easyjet, including the introduction of allocated seating.
Lesley Kane, Ryanair’s head of corporate sales, said that the focus on business travellers was to enable the airline to meet its target of carrying up to 112 million passengers by 2019.
Kane added that the new business product had been developed following feedback from corporate customers, with a flexible ticket allowing travellers to change their flight without paying extra fees, and the option of taking an earlier flight, if available.
The fare will also allow fast track through security at key business airports such as Dublin, Barcelona, Stansted and Manchester, as well as free premium seat selection and priority boarding. In addition, Ryanair plans a corporate support desk to resolve any issues for business travellers.
But the new corporate fares will not include priority bag drop and there will be no loyalty programme.
“The majority of business travellers do not check in bags and loyalty programmes mean high fares,” said Kane.
Ryanair has already resumed distributing tickets via Travelport and is looking at other GDS partnerships. The airline stopped using GDSs 10 years ago because of “high fees”.
But the airline’s bid to woo business travellers has already been met with scepticism by many in the industry.
Kane also defended Ryanair’s record on disruption and the support given to travellers who experience delays and cancellations.
“Ryanair has the most on-time flights in Europe, with over 90 percent or more arriving on time,” she said. “We have the least cancelled flights, and if there is disruption we are bound by regulation EU261. All passengers are advised of their rights and it is printed on their boarding cards.
“We are no different from the other airlines and we have a requirement to offer support and help, and accommodation, if necessary. In addition, on high-frequency routes such as Stansted to Milan, Rome, Barcelona or Madrid, where there are four or five departures each day, there’s a good chance we can offer alternative flights if there is a problem.”
Ryanair is also looking to offer “a stronger mix” of primary airports, although she stressed that it already flies to Barcelona, Madrid, Rome Ciampino, Stansted, Manchester and Edinburgh which are all number one airports in their respective catchment areas.