Ryanair Strategy

Powerful Essays
Journal of Air Transport Management 15 (2009) 195–203

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Journal of Air Transport Management journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/jairtraman

Pricing strategies of low-cost airlines: The Ryanair case study
Paolo Malighetti a, *, Stefano Paleari a, Renato Redondi b a b

Department of Economics and Technology Management, University of Bergamo– Universoft, Viale Marconi 5, Dalmine 24044, Italy Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Brescia – Universoft, Via Branze, 38 – 25123 Brescia, Italy

a b s t r a c t
Keywords: Dynamic pricing Low-cost Ryanair Fares

We analyse the pricing policy adopted by Ryanair, the main low-cost carrier in Europe. Based on a year’s fare data for all of Ryanair’s European flights, using a family of hyperbolic price functions, the optimal pricing curve for each route is estimated. The analysis shows a positive correlation between the average fare for each route and its length, the frequency of flights operating on that route, and the percentage of fully booked flights. As the share of seats offered by the carrier at the departure and destination airports increases, fares tend to decrease. The correlation of dynamic pricing to route length and the frequency of flights is negative. Conversely, as competition increases discounts on advance fares rise. Ó 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction In recent years, the entry of low-cost carriers has totally revolutionised the air passenger transport industry. The low-cost business model was introduced by Southwest in the US at the beginning of the 1970s. However, it was only in the 1990s that the phenomenon spread worldwide. Ryanair was one of the first airlines in Europe to adopt the low-cost model in 1992. Easyjet, Ryanair’s main low-cost competitor, was founded in 1995. Although the phenomenon is relatively recent, the stunning results obtained by low-cost carriers urge academics to study the reasons for their



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