has come up with a number of new initiatives aimed at saving money in the face of rising fuel prices - including advising cabin crew to "watch their weight".
The heavier an aircraft, the more expensive the flight, so a number of airlines are devising ways to make their planes lighter.
As well as encouraging flight staff to battle the bulge, Ryanair
will cut the amount of ice on board, and reduce the weight of trollies and seats.
The in-flight magazine, Let's Go With Ryanair, will also now be published on A5 paper rather than A4, and will double up as a menu. As well as saving thousands of pounds on the fuel bill, the move will also cut printing costs by £400,000.
Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara told the Telegraph
: "We cut costs wherever possible, and the changes will represent a significant reduction in weight
"We also considered removing armrests, but decided against it. We even encourage staff to watch their weight – with the motivation of appearing in the annual Ryanair calendar."
Ah yes, the Ryanair calendar
. Every year, Ryanair
's female cabin crew strip down to their underwear for a racy calendar - but it's all in the name of charity.
The 2012 proceeds from The Girls of Ryanair calendar will go to DEBRA, a charity providing support to people suffering from epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a genetic skin condition.
But not everybody is keen on Ryanair
's "racy" tactics. In February, the airline had two UK newspaper adverts banned after complaints they were sexist.
According to the BBC, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 17 complaints about the adverts that depicted woman posing in their underwear with the headline: "Red Hot Fares & Crew! One way from £9.99".
The airline said the adverts promoted its 2012 cabin crew charity calendar, and used images directly from it, adding that crew members had posed voluntarily for the pictures. In fact, 400 girls applied to feature in the 2012 calendar, with only 12 staff members ultimately making the final cut.
Do you think the thought of appearing in the next one will "motivate" cabin crew to lose weight and help Ryanair's bid to cut fuel costs...?
- Paying for paying
Is it just us, or is there something seriously nut so about the concept of paying for the privilege of paying? It's a crazy, mixed-up world when you have to pay £10 to use a debit card which costs the airline around 20p to process. Of course, you could apply for one of the cards which are 'free' to use, but they change all the time and take hours to apply for. If we thought about it too hard we'd only ever sit at home and cry.</p>
- Clashing colours
My dear, the garishness! Bright orange, purple, lurid yellow... it's enough to make anyone long for the days of a discreet livery of navy, red and perhaps a touch of silver. If you weren't feeling queasy before you got onboard, the combination of lime green uniforms and a £10 gin and tonic should do the job. Pass the sick bag – oh no, that's right, there aren't any.</p>
- Arriving at random airports
It's all very well paying £3.99 for your flight to Stockholm, but you won't be feeling so clever when you land in a field in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by lakes and forests, with no capital city in sight. Add on the taxes, extra charges and an hour and a half taxi ride into town and suddenly the national carrier flying to the main airport is looking like a pretty good deal. Especially when you factor in the professional service and free prawn sandwich you would have got...</p>
- Bonkers booking
Ah, the joys of the online no-frills airline booking procedure... First off, let's assume you've got access to the internet (if you don't, you're pretty much stuffed, because the chances of finding a real live human to book with are about as high you being able to travel on one of the special offer days). You've then got to navigate the site without accidentally hiring a car, paying for golf clubs or adopting a small child. By the time you remember to print out your boarding pass within the correct time period, you're in serious need of a holiday...</p>
- Full-fare food and drink
The recent story about a certain airline which gave a man a sandwich and a drink after he suffered a cardiac arrest – and then charged him for it – just about sums up the no-frills airline attitude to catering. It's all about the money, money, money. So, three letters for you: B.Y.O.</p>
- Speedy boarding
Seriously, what is up with people who pay for speedy boarding? You haven't spent enough on extra taxes, credit card charges, baggage fees? Sure, whack on another hefty charge while you're at it, just so you can stand in the front of the queue and feel superior. The plane's not going anywhere until the povs at the back of the queue are on too, so save the twenty quid – you'll need it to pay for your cheese sandwich on board.</div>
- Baggage restrictions
No, no, we don't really need to take anything with us on our holiday, honestly. We may be going to Norway for two weeks in January, but a toothbrush, t-shirt and a pair of flip-flops will do us just fine. The book, nappies, wet wipes and baby food ? No problem, they'll slip right into the one bag too, that's fine, don't need them at all, yes stick them in the overhead locker miles away from my seat, too. Marvellous.</p>
- No seat pocket
Remember in the old days when the seat in front of you had a pocket you could stow your bits and pieces, magazines, bottle of water etc, instead of having to strew them all over the floor? They might be saving space and weight, but when your three-year-old starts projectile vomiting and the seat belt sign's on, suddenly a seat pocket full of sick bags makes a lot of sense. Ah, sweet revenge...</p>
- Lousy legroom
Jeez, there's nothing like 29" legroom pitch and a non-reclining seat back to force you to practice your yoga moves. Like human origami, we fold our limbs into unnatural shapes and wonder why we can't feel our feet by the end of the flight. And we're relatively normal! What it's like for a 6ft 7" man, or a 7 month pregnant woman with a 20 month old on her 'lap' doesn't bear thinking about...</p>
- Surly service
OK, when you're paying more for your beer than your air fare, you can't expect silver service, but would a smile hurt? We feel for the cabin crew dealing with leery stag weekenders and bitter businessmen whose companies won't cough up for a proper airline, but it would be nice to be treated slightly more like a human being, less like a walking wallet from whom to extract as much cash as possible in a two hour period. Scratch card, perfume, magazine, £2.50 bottle of water, anyone?</p>
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