Airport International News - July 2012
Ryanair Plan Wider Doors For Aircraft
Posted by Victoria Knowles - Airport International Reporter on 31/07/2012 - 04:30:00
Budget airliner Ryanair has plans to install bigger doors on their aircraft. The strategy proposes to save time and money by allowing passengers to alight and depart the plane in half the time.
The scheme is not the first money saving idea dreamt up by chief executive Michael O'Leary. Previous plans included standing only tickets and replacing lavatories with more seating. Other, less publicized ideas involved putting passengers in the hold area.
Yesterday it was revealed that the company is in correspondence with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China to build a prototype with the larger doors.
Ryanair Wider Doors
Ryanair's chief financial officer, Howard Millar asserts, "The Chinese are willing to listen to what we want. A plane manufactured by Boeing or Airbus is a one-size-fits-all. We want two people to walk through the door." He continues, "If the door is wider you can load people on and off the aircraft quicker. We want a low-cost plane that suits our business model."
The company are interested in the Comac C919 aircraft, seeking to receive deliveries from the end of 2020. The C919 is being developed as a rival to the Boeing 737, of which Ryanair operates 300.
Other ideas Ryanair has proposed for the model are smaller gallery sections and a redesigned hold to appropriate space. Its baggage fee policy means there is less luggage and to keep fares down, they do not serve food inflight.
Bigger Aircraft Doors
Airbus is another dominant player in the commercial aircraft market. "Boeing and Airbus will look at you as if you have two heads if you have a bigger door," Millar said.
Ryanair is unable to increase fares this year due to higher fuel costs and the Eurozone crunch. The first four months saw an increase in 1.2 million passengers, but despite this, the company lost £87.8 million in the first quarter.
Ticket prices on average increased 4%, but this will be capped as passengers will not be able to afford higher fees.
Millar said, "Clearly we would love it if we could increase average fares to cover the higher fuel costs, but in the present economic environment, with austerity and recession, that's not possible to do. "We are being impacted by the eurozone crisis, there is no doubt about that."
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