Ryanair has announced that it will ease restrictions on the use of electronic devices and allow their use on all its flights during take-off and landing.
The decision comes as Ryanair is in the middle of a major public relations campaign to change people’s perception of the budget airline, which until now has not been exactly positive.
Ryanair follows British Airways’ lead in allowing electronic devices to be used during take-off and landing, with BA having become the first European airline to permit the use of devices like mobile phones, tablets, laptops, mp3 players and ereaders throughout the duration of the flight.
In a statement, Ryanair said: “The IAA [Irish Aviation Authority] is one of the first regulatory authorities in the world to approve this measure and we wish to commend them for their initiative.
“We are working hard to improve our service to all customers and today’s PED [Personal Electronic Device] approval is the latest in a series of changes which we know our customers will love.”
In November, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) ruled that smartphones and tablets can be safely used during take-off and landing, a decision which followed the release of a report from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) in the US suggesting the rules could be relaxed.
All passengers will be able to keep their electronic devices switched on as long as they have flight mode switched on, a setting which disables the devices’ ability to connect to wireless networks.
The budget airline stressed that passengers will still need to listen to the safety briefings before take-off, especially in relation to the proper use of electronic devices on board.
In October of last year, following a series of high-profile PR disasters and investor concerns, the controversial Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary announced a range of new measures aimed at improving the public’s perception of the company.
These included a more customer-friendly website, relaxed baggage allowances and the introduction of ‘quiet flights’ before 8am and after 9pm where no PA announcements would be made during the flight.
Ryanair carries more than 80 million passengers every year to destinations across Europe.