Archive for October, 2006

Pioneers in European Discount Travel

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

Ryan Air

Ryanair just turned 21, so it’s a good time to recognize their importance to discount travel. If you’re not already familiar with them, they’re the airline that frequently offers flight deals for £1.00 (taxes not included). They’re so crucial to travel that whenever they set up service for a new destination, the property values actually rise their because of the increased accessibility!

Based in Dublin, they carried over 35 million passengers to 100+ European destinations last year, many of which saved some good coin with this no frills carrier. Ryanair isn’t the most elegant, romantic flying experience, but the company boasts that they have the lowest ticket prices, least likelihood to lose luggage, least amount of tardy arrivals/departures and youngest fleet of jets. As of August 2006, they had 107 Boeing 737-800’s with an additional 142 on order to partially replace the current lot and add to it.

Ryanair is sometimes referred to as the Southwest Airlines of Europe – and this is no coincidence. Their CEO, Michael O’ Leary, actually visited the Southwest Airlines Headquarters in the early days to study their business model.

The main component to Ryanair’s profit model is revenue from ancillary activities. They just disclosed that they made £50 million in ancillary revenue in a recent three month period. Services they charge for include, booking with a credit card (£1.75), checking in your suitcase (£7.00), onboard ham sandwich (£4.00) and onboard bottled water (£1.80).

Operating solely in Europe for the last 21 years, they will be venturing outside to the continent of Africa soon, with flights to Morocco.