Passengers on Europe’s biggest airline may soon need to cross their legs – or queue to use one toilet between more than 200 people. Ryanair has dropped its plan to charge passengers for using on-board toilets, but is pressing ahead with proposals to remove two of the three lavatories on each plane and replace them with seats.
The airline’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, told The Independent “It would fundamentally lower air fares by about five per cent for all passengers” – cutting £2 from a typical £40 ticket.
The airline, which will carry 75 million passengers this year, has only one aircraft type: the Boeing 737-800. Ryanair has installed 189 seats on each plane, the maximum allowed under current rules.
“We’re trying to push Boeing to re-certify the aircraft for six more seats, particularly for short-haul flights”, said Mr O’Leary. “We very rarely use all three toilets on board our aircraft anyway.”
Sir Philip Green set off alarm bells a few weeks ago when he warned that up to 260 shops in his Topshop-to-BHS fashion empire Arcadia could close.
It was further bleak news for the UK's high streets, where one in seven shops already lies empty and a spate of retail collapses from Habitat to TJ Hughes has left fresh scars.
Like other chains such as Marks & Spencer, Dixons and Mothercare, Arcadia has too many Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Miss Selfridge outlets on the "wrong" high streets as the internet and huge malls redraw the shopping landscape. Green has nearly 300 loss-making stores on his hands.
But he is in the advantageous position of being able to get rid of many of them, as leases on almost 500 shops in his portfolio expire in the next three years, making him the envy of rival chains who are bound by long leases that lock them into year after loss-making year.
Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM)’s BlackBerry smartphone, which lost its No. 4 spot to Apple Inc. in the U.S. in the first half 2011, fell further behind the iPhone maker and market leader Samsung Electronics Co. after new models failed to attract enough users.
RIM’s share of U.S. mobile-phone subscribers in the three months through November 2011 dropped to 6.5 percent from 7.1 percent in the previous quarter, research firm ComScore Inc. said. Samsung increased to 25.6 percent from 25.3 percent, and Apple consolidated its fourth place, gaining 1.4 percentage point to 11.2 percent.