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Ryanair reports 66% rise in profits

Ryanair has reported a significant rise in profits.

Ryanair has reported a huge rise in profits. Credit: PA Wire

The Irish airline said net profit for the year to the end of March had surged by 66% to €867 million (£614 million).

Passenger numbers increased by 11% - almost three times the targeted level - to 90.6 million customers.

Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said the firm had attracted millions of new customers through the success of its “Always Getting Better” customer experience programme.

UK flights cancelled by Italian air traffic control strike

UK air passengers are facing major disruption due to a strike by Italian air traffic controllers, with scores of flights cancelled.

Ryanair and Easyjet planes will be grounded by the strike. Credit: PA

The four-hour stoppage tomorrow has led to Ryanair axing 96 flights to and from Italy, including four return services involving flights to and from the UK.

EasyJet has had to cancel up to 60 flights and other UK carriers are also likely to be affected by the action, which lasts from 11.30am to 3.30pm UK time.

The Ryanair cancellations include Manchester-Bologna, Stansted-Ancona, Stansted-Trieste and Liverpool-Pisa.

Ryanair warned that further delays and cancellations are likely and advised passengers to check the status of their flight.

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Ryanair to launch 'business class' flights

No-frills airline Ryanair is to introduce a ,business class'. Credit: PA

It may be famous for its "no-frills" approach, but low-cost Irish airline Ryanair is set to launch business class flights.

While the 69.99 euro (£56) Business Plus package does not provide roomier seating, it does offer more discerning fliers a range of benefits, including:

  • Flexibility on ticket changes
  • 20kg (44lbs) of checked-in bag allowance
  • Fast-track airport security at selected airports
  • Priority boarding and 'premium' seats

Fliers must select Business Plus services during the booking process or face additional charges for any services added after payment has been made.

Ryanair boss backs Scottish independence 'if taxes cut'

The head of airline Ryanair has supported plans for reduced Air Passenger Duty, a currency union and Scotland's continued membership of the European Union.

Michael O'Leary's comments come after Standard Life announced it had drawn up contingency plans around Scottish independence.

Ryanair's CEO Michael O'Leary Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland, Mr O' Leary said: "There's no doubt that most airlines would support the position of the Scottish Government in relation to the abolition of the [air passenger duty], which does untold damage to Scottish tourism."

Mr O’Leary also said Scotland should retain the use of the pound and that Scotland would keep our membership of the European Union.

How to check if your flight is affected by the strikes

Passengers planning on flying to Europe in the next two days are likely to encounter delays and disruption to European flights as Air Traffic Control staff are planning to strike in Italy and Portugal.

Airlines are advising customers, particularly those on short-haul flights, to check their websites for the status of their flights, see below for details on where to check the status of your flight.

easyjet will advise all affected passengers on flights into and out of Lisbon and on flights to and from Milan Malpensa via email. Customers can also check their flights on the airline's Flight Tracker page.

British Airways have also re-timed a number of flights to avoid the strike period and have made some cancellations. The airline advised passengers to check its website for up-to-date information concerning flights departing in the next two days.

Ryanair has a list of cancelled flights on their website and has predicted significant delays and further cancellations on Wednesday 29 January. Customers can also check the website for information on how to apply for a refund and how to rebook your cancelled flight.

Ryanair announces move to fully allocated seating

Low-cost airline Ryanair has announced it will move to fully allocated seating on all flights from February 2014.

Fully allocated seating will begin in February 2014. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Passengers who do not pay €5 (£4.23) to select their seats will be allocated them during the 24 hours prior to departure.

The airline said the move was in response to feedback from customers who complained about rushing to the airport in a bid to get the best seats.

Ryanair also warned that its profits are likely to fall for the first time in five years.

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