Kane takes new role as Ryanair targets business market

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Ryanair is to unveil a new business product "in the coming weeks" after continuing its drive to target the sector by appointing its European sales and marketing head Lesley Kane as its head of groups and corporate travel.

The appointment forms the latest in a string of recent initiatives at the carrier as it seeks to better position itself to appeal to higher yielding business traffic. Kane in her new role will head the newly launch group and corporate travel service which will actively target the groups and business travel markets in 2014.

The carrier has set up a new groups section on its website and says a new business product will be unveiled in the coming weeks featuring "flexible tickets, reserved seating and fast-track through selected airports".

The business product initiative echoes that of European rival EasyJet, which has already rolled out its Flexi package, as part of its initiatives to secure higher yielding traffic.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary cites Kane's "extensive knowledge of sales and marketing, combined with her considerable experience from her time as head of Ryanair Direct" as being key to her appointment.

Kane adds: "Ryanair is continually improving our customer service and has received numerous requests from group organisers and corporate businesses to develop and launch these new exciting products."

It continues the Irish carrier's efforts to adjust its image and ease some of the restrictions previously attached, such as grace period to correct online booking errors, allowing a second small bag onboard, cuts in excess baggage fees and rolling allocated seating out across its network in February.