May 15, 2008 / 3:54 PM / 11 years ago

Ryanair launches holiday home letting Web site

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Europe’s biggest low-cost airline Ryanair launched a Web site for holiday lettings on Thursday, providing a platform for owners to create and publish adverts for their properties and manage bookings.

Ryanair, always seeking new revenue streams, said the cost of advertising a holiday property would be 200 euros a year before tax and is offering introductory discounts.

“Property owners now have the chance to promote holiday rentals to Ryanair’s 60 million passengers,” Ryanair’s head of commercial revenue Sinead Finn said in a statement.

Chief Executive Michael O’Leary has said the airline will eventually generate so much revenue from sidelines such as hotel bookings, car rental, insurance, online gambling and in-flight sales that passengers will one day effectively fly for free.

Ryanair’s ancillary revenue grew 40 percent to 363 million euros ($562.6 million), or 17 percent of total sales, in the nine months to the end of December. It aims to raise that to 20 percent over the next three years.

In the shorter term, Ryanair, one of the world’s most profitable airlines, has to grapple with soaring oil prices and a promise never to pass on the fast-rising cost to passengers in the shape of the fuel surcharges used by other airlines.

In March, O’Leary froze pay for senior managers and has said the airline is reviewing airport contracts and planning capacity reductions next winter to reduce costs.

He has also raised check-in and luggage charges twice this year, bringing the total increase since January to 67 percent. The airline has said it hopes to save costs by encouraging more people to travel with hand luggage only and to check in online.

Revenue from the charges has helped offset declining average fares, however, while Britain’s Advertising Standards Agency last month criticized Ryanair for promoting prices for flights that did not include the charges.

Ryanair has warned profits may fall by 50 percent this year as slowing economies and fuel costs take their toll.

Reporting by Paul Hoskins; editing by David Hulmes

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