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We'll keep hiking charges until we get rid of hold bags, says O'Leary

RYANAIR intends to increase baggage charges until no-one takes its flights with luggage that needs to go in the hold, the airline's boss said.

Michael O'Leary said Ryanair had increased its charge for hold luggage by €20 for the summer period.

Asked about charging people more for the summer period, he said: "That's when they are likely to bring more bags. We will keep increasing charges until we get rid of hold bags."

Ryanair had reduced the number of its passengers who checked in hold baggage from 80pc to 19pc and that this was saving the airline "a fortune in money", he added.

"We will never get rid of (hold) bags but I would be disappointed if we don't get our figure for (hold) bags down from around 20pc to 10pc,'' he said.

Mr O'Leary said: "At some point in the future I think it's likely that airlines will do it (charge for hand luggage) but I can't get my head round how you would do it. I think it's unlikely that we will do it."

Mr O'Leary said that Ryanair's decision, announced earlier this week, to get its pilots to increase flight times by two minutes to save fuel, would save the airline around €80m a year.

Ryanair has also announced it will increase the frequency on its five main Ireland-UK routes from October.

The airline says it will add at least one more daily return flight from October 2013 to routes out of Dublin to London Stansted, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Bristol.