Ryanair, easyJet, British Airways, Air France-KLM and Lufthansa fall heavily – Share Wrap

Shares in leading European carriers Ryanair (-4.8%), easyJet (-4.1%), British Airways (-6.0), Air France-KLM (-6.5%) and Lufthansa (-4.9%) fell heavily yesterday as concerns over the economy re-emerged and oil prices remained stubbornly high. Ryanair confirmed that all new passenger bookings from 20-May-09 are required to check-in online and use the ‘bag-drop’ service, including those travelling with infants and checked bags.

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 13-May-09

Ryanair will consequently remove its EUR10 airport check-in fee and introduce a EUR5 online check-in fee per person, per sector, on new bookings. The move is in line with Ryanair's plans to completely phase-out airport check-in desks from its 146 airports by 01-Oct-09.

Spokesperson, Stephen McNamara, stated the move would allow Ryanair to “lower our airport and handling costs and pass these savings to all passengers in the form of even lower air fares next Winter”.

The carrier’s airport and handling expenses, as a percentage of operating expenses, reached its lowest levels in 4Q08, at approximately 15% of the airport’s total operating expenses (from around 19% four years ago). Airport and handling charges are currently the carrier’s third largest expense, after fuel costs and labour expenses. Clearly, the carrier sees major gains in cost savings in this area.

Ryanair’s airport & handling charges as a percentage of total operating expenses: 1Q05 to 1Q09

Ryanair – Edited Press Release

Ryanair confirmed that from 20-May-09 all new passenger bookings, including those travelling with infants and checked in bags, will move to online check-in and ‘bag-drop’ only as Ryanair phases out the use airport of check-in desks from its 146 airports by 01-Oct-09.

Ryanair will no longer accept bookings for unaccompanied minors (under 16 years old) while all new bookings will require passengers (including infants and domestic flight passengers) to hold a valid passport or valid national identity card.

Accordingly, Ryanair will remove its GMP10/EUR10 airport check-in fee and introduce a GMP5/EUR5 online check-in fee per person, per flight, on new bookings, other than promotional fares fares of “Free”, “EUR1” and “EUR5” will include web check-in on a free of charge basis), while a EUR40/GMP40 ‘boarding card re-issue fee’ will be introduced to encourage all passengers to arrive at the airport with their pre-printed web check-in boarding card.

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