DOGFIGHT OVER EUROPE: RYANAIR
This set of questions refers to Version (A): 1. Which kind of customers was Ryanair trying to attract when, in 1999, Michael O’Leary took charge of the firm? Those with a low price elasticity of demand or those with a high price elasticity of demand? Explain.
Considering that we are talking about the same product, in an industry with many firms, where producers and consumers know all quoted prices and where the consumers can identify the product as homogeneous, it is fair to say that we are talking about a scenario close to perfect competition, thus demand for the product is very elastic. So, Ryanair is trying to attract high price elasticity customers. Accordingly to the article: Ryanair marketed itself as “the low fares airline”; before open new routes, the company cared about low landing fees, low turnaround costs in order to be able to charge low fares to customers; it made agreements with secondary airports, where they did not pays fees (in fact those airports paid to Ryanair to use their locales); it tried that 70% of the available seats in the two lowest fare categories; it made fewer restrictions on its tickets (important for who had extra bags, or who wants to change the flights in order to pay less); it observe competitors, so it would be able to apply a lower fare; its customers were a mix of leisure travelers (70-75%) and business travelers, mostly from small and mid-sized businesses (25-30%). differences in airfares could persuade some leisure travelers to visit one destination rather than another; it has chosen the cost leadership so it seeks to be the lowest cost producer in Europe by selling standardized, mass products and Ryanair’s profit maximization was through lower fares in order to attract more customers contrarily to competitors where they maximize their profits through find opportunities to increase fares without losing customers. So