Ryanair crisis?

Comeuppance for O’Leary? In spite of his big mouth, I hope not.

Watch news sites for developments!

  • Brian Walker,

    Its amazing how you have turned a simple business decision into a gloat-fest. You might, instead, have blogged the article in today’s Irish Times in which O’Leary said that:

    … there would be five large airlines in Europe in the next three to four years – “Ryanair, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France and possibly EasyJet”. The rest would go out of business or become subsidiaries of the top five.

    Far from getting his ‘Comeuppance’, O’Leary is still supremely confident (and probably rightly so) that his model will win.

    Ryanair is quite right to cut services to airports that charge too much, or offer too few passengers. Its called the free market, and airports, like everyone else, have to keep their costs down to attract customers.

  • joeCanuck

    I think most world airlines are in the same boat, between a rock and a hard place. It’s obvious that fares will have to go up because of oil prices and that’s going to drive demand down for pleasure trips especially. Hard for executives to essentially have to guess as to what’s the best thing to do. Parking some planes may be the short term smart thing to do.

  • PS, that article on O’Leary/Ryanair in today’s Irish Times is now subscription-free: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/0717/1216073195101.html

  • joeCanuck

    All Irish Times articles are now subscription free, Horseman. Mick blogged it a couple of weeks ago.

  • joeCanuck,

    All Irish Times articles are now subscription free, Horseman. Mick blogged it a couple of weeks ago.

    I know, as I expect all other Slugger readers do. I was merely giving the URL to aid the lazy (and Brian Walker, who seemed to prefer a ‘bad-news’ story concerning Ryanair than a ‘good-news’ one)

  • cynic

    Good luck to Ryanair. If oil continues at this price their entire business model is doubtful so I am unsurprised to see him saying this as he tries to bolster his position …..but saying it dont make it so.

    Load factors are critical to low cost so it will be inetersting to see how he manages the downsizing of the fleet and imapct of that on overall cashflow and profit.

    Strangely, why choose BA as one the big 5 left standing? It’s not well run and in a pretty dire position managerially and financially….. though less so than others …. but above all it doesnt have a big state sponsor like Air France.

    I have to admit though that I am biased. I flew Ryanair once and will never never again get into one of their planes. On the other hand Easyjet is a delight to fly with. Not perfect but very good and seems to give a damn.

  • Harry Flashman


    For what precisely? What offence has O’Leary committed? Is the old Irish sin of begrudgery rearing its ugly head at the first sign of changed economic circumstances?

    What is it about Ryanair that causes the Irish bien-pensant class to hate it so? Is it the fact that the proles got to fly too instead of being consigned to the vomit splashed ferry boats of the good old days? And worse yet that they got to visit nice foreign locations that should be the preserve of the more discerning class of people, you know BBC types and that?

    Or was it that unlike Aer Lingus, no Irish taxpayer was forced to pay for Ryanair if they didn’t want to?

    Was it the fact that O’Leary proved that the air transport business is no different from any other service industry and doesn’t need legions of under worked public servants on index linked state guaranteed pensions suckling greedily at the public tit and willing to down tools at the least excuse?

    Just for the record I believe that many more state sponsored airlines in Europe will go bust long before Ryanair does.

  • Harry Flashman,

    I’m shocked. For the first time ever, I agree with everything you have said.

    I’ll go and lie down now for a while ….

  • A concerned Flyer

    Having travelled recently with Ryan Air out of Dublin O’Leary has little to boast about, queues unending because of understaffing, charges too high for overweight baggage as limit is only 15kilos, going on holidays it does not give you much leeway for clothes etc. and to add to this misery they cannot keep to their schedule , planes are always late, never cleaned as they have to fill up with the next lot of passengers and have no time to clean out the rubbish from the previous passengers not a flattering experience to boast about Mr O’Leary. That’s of course how he is making his money, with all the add ons. He may boast to be the cheapest for your airfare and that is questionable but by the time you add on all the extras you would be able going BA Easy jet or by some other airline just as cheap or even perhaps cheaper. He will be no loss if he goes under.

  • cynic

    Harry….why do the bien-peasants hate it so?

    Well as apeasant (non bien) I think its because of the way it treats them. Low prices, yes but at a cost. Cheap but sometimes nasty and sometimes seeming to revel in that.

  • Cormac

    I’ve done a lot of short-haul travelling over the last 10-15 years, and I have to say Ryanair aren’t that bad.

    The major gripe I have with them – and I would gladly pay an extra Euro per ticket to get this fixed – is the dreadful ads for scratchcards etc they blast out of those tinny speakers, just as I’m beginning to doze off. Noise pollution is something I hate (I’m the cadgy ‘oul fart in the corner of the bar asking the proprietor to turn the tv off, music down etc).

    Other than that, they’re fine!

    Wouldn’t like to fly to Australia with them, though.

    And O’Leary’s taxi is a disgrace.

  • Anyone feeling sorry for O’Leary might like to check out http://www.airlinequality.com/Forum/ryan.htm to see how his wretched company treats its passengers.

    My favourite horror story is about the guy (a Mr Pawson on 4 June if you want to scroll down) who phoned up the Customer line, after 3 hours of trying was put through to someone in Italy who mucked him about, and who claimed to have heard the customer service minion say in Italian “I wonder how long this English wanker will keep hanging on?”

    A ghastly shower. Give me Aer Lingus any day.

  • Driftwood

    I like OLeary’s parting shot…”and possibly Easyjet”, Ouch! Stelios really must get to you Mike. They know the market is a bit more complex than the bottom line, and my money is on Easyjet being around a long time, for the short haul..if you get my drift.

  • Harry Flashman

    Here’s a simple message for all those who don’t like Ryanair’s services; don’t use them.

    Not very complicated and that way you’ll not see a penny of your hard earned money being handed over to a company you don’t like, unlike Aer Lingus on the other hand who receive shed loads of cash from Irish taxpayers whether they use their services or not.

    But hey go on, treat Ryanair as the villain of the piece, O’Leary’s a big boy he can take it, he never did give a stuff for the pompous opinions of the purse lipped, sanctimonious, Irish Times reading nincompoops of the Dublin 4, dinner party chattering classes.

  • cynic


    OK…fess up. Do you have shares in Ryanair?

    I havent been to a dinner party in months, dont live in Dublin 4, read the Irish Times or chatter (except here) but in my personal experience they are totally utterly awfully crap at customer service. What’s worse they know that and revel in it….its a conscious part of the company image. After the last time (2 years ago) I personally will never ever ever fly with them again.

    In my experience others are just as cheap (or perhaps a pound or two more expensive) but give much better service, more leg room and are pleasant to fly with. Given that in this market sometimes taxes and fees amount to 80% of the price, that’s nothing.

    As you say, it’s my choice. Lots of people choose to use them because they are so cheap. I dont but I wish well to those who do and, again from my personal experience, fear that they may need those good wishes.

  • I confess to being a Ryanair frequent flyer, so like all such unfortunates I have plenty of stories, good and bad. But the main things that keep me coming back are:

    1. It’s a bus service. It’s not the glamorous era of champagne-sipping jet-setters any more. A plane is for getting from A to B, and if you expect other ancillary services (like food), then take a different plane. I pay for the transport, nothing else.

    2. Ryanair simply has more A’s and B’s. To get from where I am to where I want to be, Ryanair is often the only real choice. Just look at their routemap. Even if they were more expensive, I would still need to use them for many journeys.

    3. They’re usually cheap. I know that price is not so important to many of us (being mostly well-paid public servants (yes, I know who you are …. )), but for others (students, retired people, regular working people) the difference in price means that they can actually go places. For me, it means I can go to the sun, or other cities, or wherever, without needing to really consider the price. That may also be the case with some other airlines, but not all.

    As Harry Flashman says (and yet again I agree with him), if you don’t share any of these reasons, then do me a favour and go elsewhere. I’d certainly appreciate an empty seat beside me.