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O'Leary: Ryanair needs to soften its image

RYANAIR boss Michael O'Leary has admitted the airline needs to soften its image.

Speaking at the airline's annual general meeting this morning, he said events had occurred in the past where sensitive situations could have been dealt with better.

He referred specifically this morning to Dublin surgeon Muhammad Taufiq Sattar, whose family was tragically killed in a house fire. The surgeon was charged €188 by Ryanair to switch flights. The airline has refunded the charge.

One shareholder said the airline had a "macho" culture and that it needs to be addressed by the airline.

Mr O'Leary insisted Ryanair did not want to be penalising people for having a bag that was a millimetre too big.

He said there was "clearly" something that needed to be improved and apologised if people perceived the airline as having a macho culture.

He told shareholders that its main focus over the coming months would be improving its website, its mobile platform and how it interacts with customers on social media.

''These improvements will be accompanied by a new digital marketing strategy which will see Ryanair switch a significant proportion of its marketing budget from old to new media, with a particular focus on mobile and social media platforms,'' Mr O'Leary added.

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