Ryanair scrap bikini calendar as it doesn't fit with their new image
They say a leopard can’t change its spots, but love-to-hate-him CEO of Ryanair Michael O’Leary seems to have pulled off that particular trick, turning his deliberately provocative attitude into one that is “warm and cuddly” instead. And the latest shock about-face is the scrapping of Ryanair’s controversial calendar featuring cabin crew in skimpy swimwear, as it no longer fits with the company’s “family friendly” image.
The calendar, which has been produced annually since 2008, has been staunchly supported by Ryanair’s management team, with spokesperson Robin Kiely claiming that “there is nothing demeaning about our people volunteering to raise lots of money for very worthwhile charities such as the UK Teenage Cancer Trust,” just last year. At the time, Ryanair were proud of their calendars, claiming they “raise over €100,000 for charity each year so we intend and continue to support our cabin crew, who like it, and want us to continue it.”
However, the company has been developing a softer side over the past year, which included scrapping a number of add-on fees and revamping the previously garish website, making it possible for customers to book a flight using half the number of clicks than previously needed (although you still have to run a gauntlet of add-on purchase screens).
And it seems to be working- Ryanair have announced a five per cent increase in passenger numbers in September 2014 compared with September 2013, now a massive 8.5 million passengers. Coupled with an annual passenger increase year-on-year of four per cent, to 83.8 million passengers, it’s fair to say that the new approach seems to be working.
So bikini calendars are out, but new planes are in, with Ryanair’s ambitious expansion plans putting 100 new aircraft on order from Boeing, for a bargain £6.75bn, with an option to purchase another 100 planes. It seems playing nice really does get you everywhere. Providing you keep your clothes on.