LONDON Feb 21 Europe's largest low-fare airline
Ryanair (RYA.I) said on Saturday it planned to save costs by
closing all its airport check-in desks by the end of the year
and have passengers check in online instead.
"All we will have is a bag drop where passengers can drop
off their luggage, otherwise everything will be done online,"
Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary told the Daily
He said the savings would be passed on to passengers in the
form of lower fares.
Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara told Reuters that 75
percent of the airline's passenger already used its online
"We are trying to encourage the remaining 25 percent to do
the same," he said.
"Hopefully by the end of the year we will have bag drop-in
areas instead, which will be manned."
The airline would continue to have staff running ticket
desks at airports, he said.
The change would lead to layoffs but the airline used many
third-party staff at airports and would attempt to limit the
effect of the reduction.
"We are hoping the job cuts will be minor," McNamara said.
(Additional reporting by Carmel Crimmins in Dublin)
(Reporting by Tim Castle; editing by Chris Pizzey)