Ryanair sales take off on Web

Irish cut-price airline is selling almost all its tickets via its Web site - showing the power of e-commerce

Online tickets sales now form the vast majority of all flights sold by Ryanair, the Irish budget airline said on Tuesday.

Announcing its latest passenger figures, Ryanair said that 90 percent of seats sold in the last 12 months were via its Web site, www.ryanair.com. In October 2002 the percentage of seats sold online was 92 percent, up from 87 percent in October 2001.

Ryanair's Web site was launched in early 2000, and won publicity with offers such as flights from Glasgow to London for just £1 plus taxes. It has since expanded to offer car hire, insurance and hotel bookings.

Ryanair's announcement shows that despite the dot-com crash some companies are achieving success with e-commerce. Travel sites are proving particularly successful, with both Lastminute.com and Ebookers achieving encouraging financial results this year.

Government figures released last month showed that online spending is booming in the UK.

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