Ryanair and EasyJet are two important low cost airline companies. In order to understand their success it is useful to know their history, the products and services they offer, their markets and the strategies they use. Finally, even though they have grown since their creations, they may face some problems in the future.
I. History,products services
Ryanair was set up by the Ryan family in 1985. Its Head office is situated in Dublin. The company started with a 15 seat aircraft, a staff of 25 people and a capital of one pound. Its first air link, opened in 1985, operated from Waterford (Ireland) to London Gatwick. Despite the growth of passengers (see graph page 2), Ryanair only made losses until 1991. Nowthe company operates 688 routes in Europe with 168 Boeing 737-800 and is composed of 4800 members of staff.
Ryanair Passenger (Millions)1
EasyJet Airline Company Limited, known as EasyJet, is, like Ryanair, one of the most important low cost airlines in Europe. Its Head office is situated in London Luton. Founded in 1995 by Stelios Haji-loannou, EasyJet started with two Boeing737-200 which operated from London Luton to Glasgow and from London Luton to Edinburgh. EasyJet now operates 465 routes in 107 European and North African airports, with 165 aircrafts and has 5,674 employees (30/09/2007).
Its number of passenger reflects EasyJet’s popularity nowadays (see chart page 3)
full year annual total ('000)
2004 24,3002005 29,558
2. Products and services
Both companies offer low prices flights in more than 25 countries in Europe and North Africa. Thanks to their websites, launched in 20001 for Ryanair and in 1997 for Easyjet, people can book on the internet.
They also offer other types of services and products like :
on board services (passengerscan buy food, drinks or different type of gift on board)
car rental (in association with Hertz for Ryanair and with Europcar for Easyjet)
hotel and holidays
airport car parking discount
Ryanair has developed other services like home insurance, life assurance, a Ryanair Credit card, a Ryanair Casino Website or vouchers.
EasyJet widened its services with easyCinema andeasyMobil .
II. The market and strategies
1. The market
Both companies have got a big market, composed of more than 25 European and North African countries. They propose the same concept in all Europe: they offer low fare air tickets and consumers buy them on the internet. They are both adapting their products and strategies to the needs of the market by opening new routes in Europe forexample.
The two companies see the market differently. EasyJet is more focused on combining low fare flights with comfort and good services while Ryanair employs all strategies to reduce the price. Ryanair considers the consumers as a unity which has economic consequences on the regions they fly to . Thus, Ryanair targets leisure clients and EasyJet targets both leisure clients and business clients.Therefore, Ryanair’s prices are lower.
Ryanair and EasyJet have got nearly the same strategies which are based on different sectors :
1. Diversification: both of them offer others services than low prices air ticket, as we have seen in I.2.
2. Low prices: by reducing manufacturing price, not serving lunch on board, by not using paper but only website and by having low chargeson the airport.
3. The internet.
4. Marketing: despite EasyJet spend more money than Ryanair, the last one has got more impact on people thanks to its very charismatic leader Michael O'Leary and advertisements.
However, there are some differences. Indeed, Easy jet uses new aircraft and operates from primary airports while Ryanair uses secondary airports, and so it “takes advantage of lower...