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Ancillary charges account for 20% of Ryanair income

Low-fare airline Ryanair took almost £550m in extra charges such as baggage fees last year.

This put the Irish no-frills carrier into fourth place in the list for world airline ancillary revenue for 2008, compiled by American research group IdeaWorks.

Ancillary revenue includes not only baggage charges but also such things as in-flight food and the commission airlines make on hotel bookings, car rental and insurance.

According to IdeaWorks, Ryanair's ancillary revenue last year accounted for 19.3% of its total revenue. Only three giant US carriers — American Airlines, United and Delta — had more ancillary revenue last year than Ryanair, which has just announced a 50% baggage fee increase to take effect next month.

Ryanair's Stephen McNamara said: “Ryanair provides passengers with Europe's guaranteed lowest fares by providing a range of ancillary revenue services such as hotel, villa, camping and hostel accommodation, travel insurance, bus and rail tickets, car hire, gift vouchers, financial services and in-flight telephone services as well as in-flight beverages and food. It delivers Europe's lowest fares as a result of these services.”

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