Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary's new 'nice guy' act boosts passengers by 28%

O’Leary was presented to the media cuddling a puppy

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Michael O’Leary’s new “nice guy” persona helped budget airline Ryanair boost its customer numbers by 28% last month.

The company launched a charm offensive last year after two profits warnings in 2013 and has introduced changes including a free second carry-on bag and allocated seating. Unveiling the “Always Getting Better” programme, O’Leary was presented to the media cuddling a puppy.  

Ryanair said it carried 6.7m passengers last month, up from 5.2m during the same period in 2014. Its load factor — aviation talk for how full a plane is - rose to 90%, from 80%.

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Ryanair said it carried 6.7m passengers last month

The company said it plans to roll out phase two of its customer service revolution this year including a new website, cabin interiors and inflight menus.

Regional carrier Flybe also had good news today, forecasting it will “break-even” in the year ending March 31 after just one year of a three-year turnaround programme.

The company said its passenger numbers grew by 15%. It will report fully in June.

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