Ryanair Ltd. (ISEQ: RY4B, LSE: RYA, NASDAQ: RYAAY) is an Irish low-cost airline. Its headquarters is located in Swords, County Dublin, Ireland, with its primary operational bases at Dublin Airport and London Stansted Airports. In 2013, Ryanair was the largest European airline by scheduled passengers carried.
Ryanair operates around 300 Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The airline has been characterised by its rapid expansion, a result of the deregulation of the aviation industry in Europe in 1997 and the success of its low-cost business model. Ryanair’s route network serves 28 countries in Europe and also Morocco. In August 2014, CEO Michael O’Leary foreshadowed the development of a Ryanair Israel, servicing cities across Europe.
Ryanair’s largest base is at London-Stansted in the United Kingdom with 43 aircraft followed by its home base at Dublin.Ryanair operates over 65 bases across Europe and North Africa, some of which only base a single aircraft. Several non-base airports serve more flights and/or destinations than certain base airports.
Ryanair traditionally prefers to fly to smaller or secondary airports usually outside major cities to help the company benefit from lower landing fees and quick turn-around times to reduce costs. For example, Ryanair does not fly to the main Düsseldorf airport. Instead, it flies to Weeze, 70 km from Düsseldorf. Ryanair has even referred to Bratislava Airport in Slovakia as “Bratislava Vienna” despite Vienna being the capital of Austria. In some cases, secondary airports are not distant from the city they serve, and can in fact can be closer than the city’s major airport; this is the case at Gothenburg-City and Rome-Ciampino.
Ryanair does still serve a number of major airports, including Athens, Barcelona El Prat, Brussels Zaventem, Budapest, Dublin,Lisbon, London-Gatwick, Madrid Barajas, Manchester, Marseille and Rome-Fiumicino. Some of these cities do not have a viable secondary airport that Ryanair could use as an alternative. In more recent months/years, Ryanair has grown more at primary airports as it looks to attract more business passengers. For Summer 2014, the airline opened bases in Athens, Lisbon and the primary airports of Brussels and Rome for the first time.
Ryanair flies in a point to point model rather than the more traditional airline hub and spoke model where the passengers have to change aircraft in transit at a major airport, usually being able to reach more destinations this way. Ryanair has 50 European bases. Despite it being an Irish airline, and having a significant presence there, it also has a significant presence in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom as well as many other European countries (although the airline has no bases in France). Currently, its biggest country market is Italy, containing fourteen bases, as well as a total of nine other non-base airports.
Ryanair’s largest competitor is EasyJet which has a far greater focus on larger or primary airports such as Amsterdam and Paris-Charles de Gaulle, heavily targeting business passengers. Ryanair also serves sun and beach destinations with bases in the Canary Islands, Cyprus, the Greek Islands and Malta amongst others. In August 2014, the airline unveiled ambitious plans to establish a major hub in Israel to service a broad range of European routes.
Ryanair claims to operate the newest, greenest, and quietest fleet of aircraft in Europe. As of March 2013, the average age of the Ryanair fleet is 5.5 years. When Boeing builds an aircraft for Ryanair, it is allocated the customer code AS, which appears in their aircraft designation as a suffix, such as 737-8AS.
Ryanair’s fleet reached 200 aircraft for the first time on 5 September 2009. All aircraft in the Ryanair fleet have beenretrofitted with performance enhancing winglets and the more recent deliveries have them fitted as standard.
The company also owns two Learjet 45, based at London Stansted Airport but registered in the Isle of Man as M-ABEU and M-ABGV, which are mainly used for the quick transportation of maintenance personnel and small aircraft parts around the network.
On 13 March 2013, Ryanair signed an order for 175 new Boeing 737-800s at the Waldorf Hotel in New York. In the same press conference, Michael O’Leary said Ryanair were still evaluating the possibility of the Boeing 737 MAX, and stated their huge order in March was for the Boeing 737 Next Generation rather than the 737 MAX as they needed aircraft before the 737 MAX would enter service.
On 30 April 2014, Ryanair confirmed that they have ordered 5 more aircraft to add to their fleet, 4 of them to be delivered in 2015 and the last one to be delivered in February 2016, to bring the number of aircraft on order to 180.
Ryanair also showed interest in other aircraft, including the Comac C919, when they signed a design agreement with Comac in 2011 to help produce a rival jet to Boeing’s offerings. At the Paris Airshow in 2013, Michael O’Leary stated that Comac could build a larger version of the C919 aircraft that would hold up to 200 passengers.
On 8 September 2014, Ryanair ordered 100 new Boeing B737 MAX 8s (plus options for an additional 100) for delivery from 2019.
As of 26 September 2014, Ryanair’s fleet consists of the following aircraft:
|Boeing 737-800||299||178||0||189||Deliveries 2014 – 2018.
older aircraft will be returned to lessors.
|Boeing 737 MAX 8||0||100||100||197||Deliveries from 2019|
Ryanair has operated the following types of aircraft in the past:
|Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante||1985||1989|
|Hawker Siddeley HS 748||1986||1989|