Wednesday, May 21 14:45:37
Ryanair's CEO Michael O'Leary has told the Wall Street Journal's Live TV that finding highly qualified technical and Web staff in Ireland has held back the airline's regeneration plans.
He said that, because the airline is based in Ireland he is competing with the likes of Google and Facebook to recruit suitably qualified and experienced staff.
He said that the airline has transformed, simplified and modernised its online booking systems but that this difficulty in finding the right tech staff represents a problem.
He said changes to its Website has already driven forward sales "significantly higher".
"Our forward bookings for the Summer period are about five percentage points ahead of last year. When you're an airline carrying 85 million passengers a year a 5pc uptick in forward bookings is quite significant," he said.
Responding to questions about the airline's ambitions to grow a transatlantic business, with reports quoting Ryanair spokespeople as saying they could offer E10 tickets between Europe and the US, Mr O'Leary said that now that "regulatory interference" was a thing of the past, this is certainly a possibility.
"The problem is we can't source a fleet of long distance aircraft. We won't do this as Ryanair. We'll set up a sister company. If we could source a fleet of between 30 and 50 longhaul aircraft but there's a big backlog in the delivery of those kind of aircraft so it's unlikely to happen in the next four or five years," said Mr O'Leary.