Belfast Telegraph

Ryanair upgrades passenger forecast

By Graeme Evans

Ryanair's drive to improve its image is showing signs of paying off after it upgraded its forecast for annual passenger traffic.

The Dublin-based carrier has softened its stance on baggage charges and booking conditions and introduced allocated seating and a new business service in an effort to improve its customer experience.

Ryanair's chief executive Michael O'Leary told shareholders in Dublin that the initiatives meant the airline now expected to fly 87m customers in the year to March 31, compared with the 86m previously forecast. He said: "Our customers and our shareholders have responded favourably to our improving customer experience, our better digital platform and the positive initial uptake of our Business Plus service."

Mr O'Leary also raised Ryanair's profits guidance towards the upper end of its previously guided range of between €620m (£484m) and €650m (£507m).

The signs of improved demand gave a boost to shares in other carriers, with easyJet and British Airways owner International Airlines Group up 2%.

Belfast Telegraph