Ryanair to Lose the Bright Yellow in Year Two of Brand Makeover

Ryanair Holdings Plc will limit the use of bright yellow in its cabins and uniforms as Europe’s biggest discount carrier embraces a more refined look in line with a push to improve customer care and dilute its no-frills approach.

Bulkheads, currently entirely yellow with a Ryanair logo, will feature images of holidaying families or the carrier’s destinations, while seats will be wholly blue, with yellow splashes only on overhead luggage lockers, the carrier said.

Crew uniforms will also feature “less yellow,” Chief Commercial Officer Kenny Jacobs told journalists in London today, with shirts and blouses likely to be white or blue in future. Ryanair’s latest planes will also have more legroom, and from June clients will be able to hold fares for 24 hours for 5 euros ($5.50) and also compare fares directly on its website.

Ryanair is seeking to position itself alongside retailers like Aldi and Ikea in appealing to people who require a quality product at competitive prices, the Dublin-based company said last week. While the makeover should help lure new clients, the airline is intent on keeping a distinct identity, Jacobs said.

“We’re not vanilla,” Jacobs said “We’re still going to have a bit of a Sex Pistols attitude. You’re never going to see us being boring, you’re never going to see us fade into grey and be just like every other carrier.”

Ryanair’s use of yellow in its cabins references the yellow Irish harp on the tails of its predominantly blue and white jets. Rival EasyJet Plc said Feb. 3 that it planned to introduce the first new external livery since 1998, featuring a large orange stripe on the previously white fuselage of its jets.

Charges Cut

Ryanair will trim airport check-in charges to 45 euros, from 70 euros, and pare missed-departure fees by 11 euros to 99 euros starting in May, Jacobs said. Other changes include a new in-flight menu and a push to personalize both web and mobile content, the executive said.

Ryanair also rolled out a new “customer charter,” promising enhanced transparency. The changes won’t hurt earnings, Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary said, with unit costs for the year through March coming in lower than a year earlier, even excluding fuel.

“There is a cost to many of these initiatives, but the costs are more than being made up from some of the savings we’re making elsewhere,” O’Leary said, citing reduced airport charges and more fuel-efficient jets.

The CEO said Ryanair has yet to be approached by British Airways parent IAG SA about buying its 30 percent holding in Aer Lingus Group Plc and that the issue remains one between the U.K. carrier and the Irish government, which also owns a stake.

“Our position is that our stake is available for sale if somebody comes up with the right offer that the board considers to be acceptable,” he said. “Not just in terms of price, but also in terms of what the investor may wish to do with Aer Lingus in the future.”

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