Thursday 19 April 2018

Low fares attracting high fliers

There was a time when no executive would stoop so low as to travel anything but business class, or if the corporate pockets were deep enough, first class.

But the world has changed in the past decade, with terror attacks and economic slumps altering the pattern.

EasyJet has made big headway into attracting business passengers to its services under chief executive Carolyn McCall (pictured). The airline carries more than 10 million business passengers a year out of a total of 59 million, with flexible fares and reserved seating helping to raise the figure.

With the airline's services largely focused on primary airports, it's perhaps an easier sell to business passengers. But now even Ryanair is seeing the austerity effect.

Michael O'Leary said his airline's reserved seating offer and punctuality are luring business passengers.

"There's an increasing trend of people becoming aware of the reserved seating," he said. Combined with low pricing, he said it makes a "compelling business-type proposition".

However, he told analysts not to get too excited by the uptake. "We try not to fall over ourselves quoting business passengers. We're not going to be selling through travel agents or any of the other business-type products, which just adds cost."

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business