Discouraging bag check-in may save €50m - O'Leary


Ryanair could save as much as €50 million a year in ground-handling fees by discouraging checked bags, chief executive Michael O’Leary said today.

Mr O’Leary said the airline was also exploring ways in which it might change the current rules on hand baggage. Currently passgengers are only allow one item of luggage weighing under 10 kilos.

One option might be for "passengers to bring two or three pieces of luggage that pass through the airport security check instead of one big suitcase which has to be handled by ground services,” he said in an interview in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Ryanair will only allow internet check-in from October at the latest and plans to ban bag check-in next year, he said. About 25 per cent of Ryanair’s passengers travel with luggage that must be processed by ground handlers.

The airline has said it will require travellers to take luggage to a “bag drop” and plans to shut check-in desks.

Ryanair will also carry more passengers in 2009 than Deutsche Lufthansa AG after beating the German airline in March and April, O’Leary said.

Ryanair will announce three or four new bases in July, including one in Germany, the CEO said.

The airline is in talks to set up a base in Malta and double the number of people it flies to the Mediterranean island, Ken O’Toole, Ryanair’s route director, said today.

At 1.50pm shares in Ryanair were up 2 pe cent at €3.49 in Dublin, giving the company a market capitalisation of €5.1 billion.