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Indian airline chief's ideas for cuts even beat Michael O'Leary

Business View

By Margaret Canning

Ryanair managing director Michael O'Leary has generated many off-the-wall ideas for reducing costs in his already low-cost airline.

O'Leary  suggested getting passengers to stand during flights as if they're on buses, or to pay a fee each time they want to spend a penny.

But not even the Irish aviation genius we all love to hate has come up with yesterday's nutty cost-cutting plan from Indian airline GoAir.

It is facing the same rising fuel costs as all airlines around the world

But instead of a down-to-earth plan for making ends meet, its chief executive Giorgio De Roni has put his head in the clouds looking for ideas, and has vowed to only employ female cabin crew.

Delicately-built ladies will, in his view, add less weight to a plane and make sure it goes easier on the fuel.

He has also pioneered shrinking the size of in-flight magazines (surely an expense that could be eliminated altogether as we're usually too absorbed in our own Grazia/Empire/AutoTrader to bother with the in-house glossy) and has also started to leave water tanks a little emptier.

Mr De Roni has worked for the airline for just over two years and if he remains in post for as long as Mr O'Leary has (nearly 20 years in the hot seat at Ryanair) he's bound to come up with more incredible suggestions.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of Ryanair rival easyJet, mused on how he got started in business as he spoke at the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year final in Monte Carlo last month.

He said his start in business was down to his father, a shipping magnate who handed him millions of pounds to start his own business.

Both he and O'Leary have transformed international travel through their low-cost model, and perhaps de Roni is their natural successor.

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