Life Travel News

Thursday 18 September 2014

Ryanair launches new business service, with fares starting at €69.99

Premium seats, 20kg bag allowance and fast-track security now available to customers of new ‘Business Plus’ service.

Published 27/08/2014 | 08:51

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Ryanair plane at Dublin Airport
Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary
Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary

Ryanair today unveiled its eagerly awaited take on business class.

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‘Business Plus’, a service aimed at European business travellers, offers a suite of benefits priced from €69.99, including:

  • Flexibility on ticket changes
  • 20kg checked-in bag allowance
  • Fast track airport security at selected airports
  • Priority Boarding
  • Premium seats

More than 25pc of its customers are travelling on business, the airline says. The new service adds value to its current services, rather than altering or modifying the existing seats and cabins.

Flexible ticketing, for example, offers unlimited flight changes and the option to change flights on the day of travel - free of charge.

Name changes, however, remain subject to the usual fees.

Premium seating offers “extra leg room” and a “speedy exit”, as described on the airline's new Business Plus website. Seats are located at the front, middle and back of the plane, without any “blue curtain” separating business and regular customers.

Premium seats will not recline.

“All of our seats are first-class,” a spokesperson quipped.

Fast-track airport security is available at select airports - namely Dublin, Barcelona El Prat, Brussels Charleroi, East Midlands, Liverpool, London Stansted, Manchester and Milan Bergamo.

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The new service is the latest development in the airline’s ongoing charm offensive – a dramatic turnaround that has seen Ryanair introduce an updated website, allocated seating, a free second carry-on bag, a new app and a dedicated family service, ‘Ryanair Family Extra’.

For a ‘no-frills’ airline, the frills are coming thick and fast.

'Business Plus' launches in tandem with Ryanair's 2015 summer schedule, which further targets Aer Lingus’s most lucrative short-haul routes for business travel, including Dublin to Brussels Zaventem.

The airline aims to capture 75% of all business traffic between Ireland and the UK, according to chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacob.

Ryanair already has a dedicated corporate and groups service, and plans to launch a second GDS (Global Distribution System) partnership, in addition to a recent agreement with Travelport, which it says will allow even more businesses access to its low fares.

The airline is expected to carry up to 86 million passengers in 2014.

As its makeover continues, questions inevitably turn to the possibility of transatlantic flights.

“We would love to do transatlantic flights and the business plan is there,” says Robin Kiely, the airline’s head of communications.

“However, it is entirely dependent on attaining long haul aircraft at a viable cost and at the moment, there is a shortage of available aircraft.”

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