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Ryanair boss: I ‘will price luggage out of the hold’

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The outspoken CEO of budget airline Ryanair has said charges for carry-on luggage are ‘inevitable’.

Speaking at a news conference, Michael O’Leary vowed that the firm would raise luggage charges in order to ‘price luggage out of the hold’.

From June to September, Ryanair’s lowest charge for a checked-in bag is £25, £10 more than in the off-season.

On popular routes to the Canary Islands and Greece it has jumped by £10 to £35 per bag, or to £45 for bags weighing over 20kg.

O’Leary has revealed plans to introduce the £10 increase all year round and said that the fees had reduced the number of people checking in bags from 80% to 20%. But O’Leary wants to cut this down to 10%.

He also said that he will keep increasing fees until the airline can ‘get rid of the bags’ and that carrying these bags costs the airline a ‘fortune’.

He also joked: “The husbands of the world have united to fund a statue to me because I have relieved them of having to persuade their wives to take less luggage when they are going on holiday.”

O’Leary also warned it was “inevitable” that budget airlines would start charging for hand luggage too, although he made a note of saying that it will not be in the near future.

O’Leary also went on to point out that travellers are not forced to fly with his airline but that they choose to do so.

An increase in fees for changing flight plans – which has risen by £10 to £40 per person on most routes in the peak summer months – could also be made permanent.

Ryanair is currently under investigation by the UK Competition Comission into its stake in rival Isish airline Aer Lingus. However Ryanair has said that it may sell its stake in order to shake the regulator.

O’Leary did take the opportunity to hit out at the regulator in the news conference by branding the probe by the Comission as “discredited and corrupt”.

He also dismissed the investigation in the airline’s future airport growth in London as “an irrelevance.”

Ryanair is the largest low-cost carrier by revenue in Europe.