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I want Ryanair to fly 97m people, says Michael O'Leary

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Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair

Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair

Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair

RYANAIR chief Michael O'Leary's goal for 2015 is to reach up to 97 million passengers with his budget airline.

The company's profit predictions soared by 20pc at the end of 2014 after a pledge by the controversial businessman to "stop deliberately p***ing people off".

This year the airline boss has pledged to continue with this strategy and even introduce some more benefits to keep customers happy.

"I'm going to try to make Ryanair a little bit bigger, lower the fares and be a little bit nicer to our customers than we were last year because it seems to be working so well," he told the Herald.

New measures introduced this year included allocated seating and a larger baggage allowance for customers.

The move has garnered a "fantastic response" according to the Wexford tycoon.

"The feedback from customers to the allocated seating, the lower fares and generally being nice to them has been really positive," O'Leary said.

This year the low-fares airline saw traveller numbers jump from 81 million passengers to 90 million.

"We're hoping to grow next year to maybe 96 or 97 million," he said.

NICEr

His new-found business strategy has gone down so well that the airline boss said he is sorry that he didn't adopt his nice guy attitude earlier.

"If I'd only known being nice to people was going to be so good I would have been nicer years ago," O'Leary joked.

2015 is a big one for Ryanair as it marks its 30th birthday - and the airline's complete transformation has just begun.

Over the course of the next three years it is planning to introduce even more comfort measures.

These are set to include free wifi on board and an overhaul of the canary yellow interior of Ryanair planes.

Package holidays are also on the company's radar in the coming years.

The long-touted transatlantic flights are also still on the cards for the airline, though it will likely be more than three years before that happens.

In December the company launched a new website in the US encouraging American tourists in Europe to choose the budget option when travelling between countries.

hnews@herald.ie


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