Ryanair is an Irish low-cost airline headquartered in Swords, a suburb of Dublin, Ireland. Let’s see some interesting facts and trivia about it!
1. In 2016, Ryanair was the largest European airline by scheduled passengers flown, and carried more international passengers than any other airline.
2. Ryanair operates over 370 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, with a single 737-700 used primarily as a charter aircraft, but also as a backup plane and for pilot training.
3. 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.
4. Ryanair’s route network serves 34 countries in Europe, Africa (Morocco), and the Middle East (Israel).
5. Since its establishment in 1984, Ryanair has grown from a small airline flying the short journey from Waterford to London into Europe’s largest carrier.
6. Ryanair now has over 11,000 people working for the company, most of whom are employed and contracted by multiple agencies to fly on Ryanair aircraft, or, as is the case for pilots, the vast majority are either agency employed or self-employed and their services are contracted to Ryanair.
7. After the rapidly growing airline went public in 1997, the money raised was used to expand the airline into a pan-European carrier.
8. Revenues have risen from €231 million in 1998, to €1,843 million in 2003 and €3,013 million in 2010. Similarly net profits have increased from €48 million to €339 million over the same period
9. Ryanair was founded in 1984 as “Danren Enterprises” by Christopher Ryan, Liam Lonergan (owner of Irish travel agent Club Travel) and Irish businessman Tony Ryan (after whom the company is named), founder of Guinness Peat Aviation.
10. The airline was shortly thereafter renamed “Ryanair” and began operations in 1985 with a 15-seat Embraer Bandeirante turboprop aircraft, flying between Waterford and Gatwick Airport with the aim of breaking the duopoly on London-Ireland flights at that time, held by British Airways and Aer Lingus.
11.In 1992, the European Union’s deregulation of the air industry in Europe gave carriers from one EU country the right to operate scheduled services between other EU states and represented a major opportunity for Ryanair.
12. After a successful flotation on the Dublin Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ Stock exchanges, the airline launched services to Stockholm, Sandefjord Airport, Torp (110 km south of Oslo), Beauvais–Tillé and Charleroi near Brussels.
13. In 1998, flush with new capital, the airline placed a massive US$2 billion order for 45 new Boeing 737-800 series aircraft.
14. As of February 2010, Ryanair had an average fare of €32.
15. Ryanair stood by the fact that its average fare was less than half than that of competitor EasyJet’s of €66.
16. The current head office of Ryanair is in the Airside Business Park in Swords, County Dublin, Ireland.
17. David Daly, a developer, built the facility prior to Ryanair’s 2012 purchase.
18. The building has 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of space, and the airline paid €11 million euros to occupy the building.
19. Previously the head office was on the property of Dublin Airport, in proximity to the Aer Lingus head office. Darley Investments built the facility in 1992. Ryanair later purchased Darley and had a 30-year lease of the head office facility from the Department of Transport of Ireland.
20. For twelve years, the company paid no rent even though it was supposed to pay €244,000 per year. After twelve years and prior to 2008, it paid less than half of the €244,000
21. In the early years, when Ryanair had a total of 450 employees who each had shares in the company, there was an agreement that staff would not join a union on the basis that they would have influence on how the company was run.
21. The treatment of employees has changed considerably since then and new employees no longer get shares in the company.
22. However, Ryanair still refuses to recognise or negotiate with any union, be it for pilots or for cabin crew.
23. In 2011, a former Ryanair captain was awarded financial compensation by an employment tribunal in London after being fired for handing out a union form to a cabin crew member while on duty.
24. In 2012 the Ryanair Pilot Group (RPG) was formed, but to date has not been successful in its aim to represent the pilots flying for Ryanair as a collective bargaining unit
25. Ryanair has several low-cost competitors. In 2004, approximately 60 new low-cost airlines were formed. Although traditionally a full-service airline, Aer Lingus moved to a low-fares strategy from 2002, leading to a much more intense competition with Ryanair on Irish routes.
26. Ryanair is a member of ELFAA (European Low Fares Airline Association)
27. Ryanair’s largest base is at London-Stansted in the United Kingdom with 43 aircraft followed by its home base at Dublin.
28. Ryanair operates from 84 bases connecting 33 countries 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.
29. When Ryanair negotiates with its airports, it demands very low landing and handling fees, as well as financial assistance with marketing and promotional campaigns.
30. In subsequent contract renewal negotiations, the airline has been reported to play airports against each other, threatening to withdraw services and deploy the aircraft elsewhere, if the airport does not make further concessions.
31. According to Michael O’Leary’s biography “A Life in Full Flight”, Ryanair’s growing popularity and also growing bargaining power, with both airports and aircraft manufacturers, has resulted in the airline being less concerned about a market research/demographics approach to route selection to one based more on experimentation. This means they are more likely to fly their low cost planes between the lowest cost airports in anticipation that their presence alone on that route will be sufficient to create a demand which previously may not have existed, either in whole or in part
32. On various occasions Ryanair has stated its wishes to expand its routes beyond European airports to the United States, Russia and the Middle East.
33. In August 2014, CEO Michael O’Leary foreshadowed the development of a Ryanair Israel, servicing cities across Europe.
34. Ryanair has also helped with the launch of low-cost airlines: VivaAerobús (Mexico) and VivaColombia (Colombia).
35. In 2017, it will help to develop a new low-cost airline in Costa Rica, named VivaCan.