Online Casinos Onboard
Internet gambling possible by Christmas
For some time Ryanair has mooted plans to operate an online casino facility, and this week it appears that real progress is being made on revitalising this ambitious project.
The airline has revealed that it is now set to launch an online casino that will operate in tandem with a new in-flight entertainment service. The facility is designed to give a further boost to the airline's fast-growing ancillary revenues.
Plans are at an advanced stage to launch the virtual casino before Christmas on the Ryanair.com website. The website has massive traffic - chief executive Michael O'Leary recently told investors that the site had 15 million unique users per month, and that Ryanair was the fifth most recognisable company brand name on internet search engine Google.
He added that the company was seeking to leverage off the website's scale to enhance revenue streams including gambling, travel insurance, car rental, hostels, online advertising and car parking.
Ryanair, which will be partnered by an as yet unidentified technology provider in the gaming sector, is not expected to contribute any capital towards the project. Instead, it will provide distribution, steering a portion of its massive online traffic onto the site and taking a percentage of the business that is generated.
The low-fares airline is also expected to introduce gaming as a new onboard entertainment service. Earlier this year, Ryanair abandoned the in-flight entertainment it introduced in late 2004 after a slower than expected pick-up, but management is now more confident that gaming will be a bigger attraction than movies.
In the current year Ryanair will carry over 35 million passengers on 266 low fare routes across 21 European countries. The company has 12 European bases and a fleet of over 100 brand new Boeing 737-800 aircraft, with firm orders for a further 125, which will be delivered over the next seven years. These additional aircraft will allow Ryanair to double in size to over 70 million passengers a year by 2012.
Google News - 2005-10-18 11:07:10