Ryanair Case Study Analysis

Topics: Southwest Airlines, Airline, Low-cost carrier Pages: 9 (3048 words) Published: August 26, 2008
1. Strategy of Ryanair

Overview of the Company

Ryanair started in year 1985 with only 57 staff members and with one 15 seater turboprop plane from the south of east of Ireland to London-Gatwick which carried 5000 passengers on one route (Harrison, 2002). In 1986, inspired from the story of David and Goliath the company go after the big guys for a slice of the action and end up smashing the Aer Lingus or British Airways high fare cartel on the Dublin-London route. The staff increased from mere 57 to 120 staff members and the plane carried for about 82,000 passengers on two routes. In 1989, the company employed 350 staff and their average maximum passengers increased to 600,000. In 1990-1991, the company has 700,000 passengers.

However, despite of the increase of passengers, the company is not so good in managing cost that the company has lose its money. A new management team is brought in to sort it out and re-launch as a “low fares or no frills” airline, closely modelling the Southwest Airlines model in the U.S. And in 1994, Ryanair bought its first Boeing 737 aircraft which carried over 1.5 million passengers. In 1995, Ryanair is the biggest passenger carrier on Dublin-London route, the largest Irish airline on every route being operate and carried 2.25 million passengers in the year (Harrison, 2002).

In 1997, the EU air transport deregulation allowed the airline for the first time to open up new routes to Continental Europe with over 3 million passengers on 18 routes carried. Ryanair launched services to Stockholm, Oslo, Paris and Brussels and took time out to float Ryanair plc on Dublin and NASDAQ Stock exchanges. The company was awarded as Airline of the Year in 1999 by the Irish Air Transport Users Committee.

In 2000, they announced the launch of 10 new European routes for the summer 2000 after much deliberation and watching others burning money. The company has also jump onto the internet with the launch of their new online booking site and in just 3 months the site is taking over 50,000 bookings a week. By 2001 there are more than 1500 employees working for Ryanair and more than 10 million passengers are carried to 56 cities in 13 European countries. The company has opened Frankfurt-Hahn in 2002 as their second continental European base and announce a long term partnership with Boeing which will see the company acquiring up to 150 new Boeing 737-800 series aircraft over an eight year period from 2002-2010.

The booking in their web accounts have increased to 94% which has probably has something to do with opening another 26 routes. In year 2003, the company is characterised by rapid expansion and the start the year by announcing that the company has ordered an additional 100 new Boeing 737-800 series aircraft to facilitate the rapid European growth plans (Binggeli and Pompeo, 2002). They acquired Buss from KL M in April and re-launched 13 buss routes in May. In February they opened their first base in Italy at Milan-Bergamo and launched their Stockholm Skavsta base in Sweden with six new European routes. In all 60 new routes are added throughout 2003 to bring the company a total of 127 routes. By 2004, the company is named as the most popular airline on the web by Google and they launched their 10th and 11th bases in Rome Ciampino and Barcelona Girona and continue to add more routes to their already extensive network. The company has also passed out British Airways to become the UK’s favourite airline in United Kingdom and throughout Europe (Binggeli and Pompeo, 2002).

Critical Success Factors

Although the company had encountered different problems, specifically in line with its cost structures, the company had been able to survive and grow in the marketplace. Ryanair implement different marketing strategy to make the company survive in the competition and to be able to gain competitive position in the airline market. It is said that the company was regarded recently...
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