Ryanair to announce major jobs creation in hi-tech revamp
RYANAIR is poised for a major jobs announcement in Dublin as it strives to improve its website and customer image.
The airline went on a major charm offensive in London as it flew in members of Europe's media to unveil further initiatives it says will transform its service.
According to the airline's boss, Michael O'Leary, an imminent and significant jobs announcement is expected to focus on generating additional employment through its digital initiatives.
Mr O'Leary and newly-appointed chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said the latest version of its website will launch on April 10. Mr O'Leary said it may launch sooner.
It's been undergoing testing for the past two months.
It will enable customers to more easily browse flight offers, allowing them to instantly see where and when they can fly with the available fares.
It will make it "much easier" for people to get the cheapest fares, according to Mr O'Leary.
As he slogged his way through Ryanair's old website, the airline chief said that "none of this as a user experience is joined up".
Ryanair placed an order for 175 new Boeing aircraft last year, which will increase its fleet size to over 400 aircraft. The first of those aircraft will be delivered in September. The airline is targeting business travellers and families to help boost passenger numbers to close to 110 million by 2019. Last year it flew 81.5 million people.
Mr O'Leary said that means having to soften its image, something it has been doing since last autumn.
Improving its interaction with customers and service has been dubbed the 'Always Getting Better' plan by the airline.
He said for families, new initiatives may include offering free checked-in baggage and free allocated seating for kids. The airline will also offer an on-board milk-warming service for babies. New family fare offers will be unveiled in April.
The new Ryanair strategy also means targeting business customers, and a bigger mix of primary and secondary airports in order to make the service appealing to those flyers.
Mr O'Leary said the airline is involved in discussions with primary airports all over Europe.