Ryanair looking at cutting out baggage handlers

Thu May 7, 2009 12:51pm EDT
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DUBLIN (Reuters) - Europe's largest low-cost airline Ryanair is looking at the possibility of getting passengers to carry their luggage all the way to the plane, cutting out the need for baggage handlers.

"We would say to passengers ... take your own bag down through airport security, leave it at the bottom of the steps, we put it in the hold and on arrival we deliver it to the aircraft steps and you take it with you," Chief Executive Michael O'Leary told a news conference on Thursday.

Ryanair's business is centered around cutting costs and the carrier is planning to eliminate check-in desks from October this year, saving up to 40 million euros annually.

An airline spokesman said the group would not pursue the luggage plan if it jeopardized their quick turnaround times.

Ryanair shares were trading down 8 percent at 3.3 euros at 1522 GMT.

(Reporting by Andras Gergely; Writing by Carmel Crimmins)