Ryanair to pursue biz travelers

By Jay Boehmer
RyanairRyanair this year plans to "actively" target group and business travel by launching a "business product" and appointing a sales leader for those segments.

The Ireland-based no-frills airline in the coming weeks plans to release further details on its business offering, but noted it would include "flexible tickets, reserved seating and fast-track through selected airports," according to an announcement.

Ryanair previously revealed plans to "move to fully allocated seating on all Ryanair flights, making the boarding process smoother," effective Feb. 1. Passengers who elect not to pay the seat assignment fee of 5 euros "will be allocated seats during the 24 hours prior to the date of scheduled departure," according to the airline.

Ryanair in recent months has attempted to soften its public image as a nickel-and-diming, passenger-unfriendly airline. Its plan to target the business segment echoes efforts by rival EasyJet, which has to some degree reworked its no-frills, low-cost model to grow share among business travelers.

Ryanair appointed former European head of sales and marketing Lesley Kane to the newly established head of groups and corporate travel.

Kane in a statement claimed that Ryanair is "continually improving our customer service and has received numerous requests from group organizers and corporate businesses to develop and launch these new exciting products."

Meanwhile, the airline noted it would target various types of group business, "including schools, sports clubs and all other large party organizers."

Source: Business Travel News  
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