All About Ryanair
Ryanair is an Irish low-cost airline that has its head office at Dublin Airport, its other main base being at London Stansted Airport.
Ryanair operates around 250 aircraft on well over 1,100 routes across the whole of Europe as well as Morocco. It now operates from over 40 bases.
In Europe, Ryanair is the largest low-cost carrier. It is also the 3rd largest airline in Europe in terms of passenger numbers.
Ryanair was founded by Christopher Ryan, Liam Lonergan and Tony Ryan (that’s why it’s called Ryanair!) in 1985.
The airline started out with just a 15-seat plane that flew between Waterford (the largest city in the South East of Ireland) and Gatwick Airport. At that time on London to Ireland flights were almost exclusively held by British Airways and Aer Lingus, and Ryanair were keen to break into the market in which the two airways had dominant control.
At this time there became a partial EU Deregulation for airlines in order to encourage more flights within Europe. This deregulation meant that all it now needed for Ryanair to set up further destinations was to get one of the two governments of the intended destinations to give their approval. Ryanair applied to the Irish Government who refused permission in order to protect Aer Lingus. Luckily for Ryanair, Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government was extremely pro-free market and so approved Ryanair’s application. This allowed Ryanair free to expand and so in 1986 it added a second route – flying from Dublin to Luton.
With two planes on two different routes the new airline carried over 82,000 passengers in just one year.
Over the years, passenger numbers continued to increase however Ryanair ran at a loss most of the time, therefore in 1991 it was decided that it was in need of restructuring. O’Leary was made deputy chief executive of Ryanair- given the job of making the airline profitable.
O’Leary visited Southwest Airlines, the American low-cost airline. Southwest Airlines had (and still do!) an extremely successful business model that involved flying multiple short, quick trips, generally into smaller and less costly airports, and using only one type of aircraft (the Boeing 737)
O’Leary realised that this business model, based upon “No – Frills” was the way ahead for Ryanair, (with the key to low fares being a very quick turn-around times for planes). . In 1994 O’Leary was promoted to chief executive. Ryanair’s low-cost business model was so successful that by its 10th birthday, in 1995, it carried 2.25 million passengers…..for more about Ryanair click here