Azara Blog: Ryanair our hero

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Date published: 2005/04/30

Ryanair is to airlines as Google is to search engines. Both appear to have the golden touch and you just have to wonder when it is all going to end in grief, since it is too good to be true. Of course the Ryanair business model relies on airplane fuel not being taxed and on subsidies from regional airports. But they could make money even without that help, they are so mean and lean.

Passengers are barred from whole rows of seats, in order to cut down on cleaning (and hence turn-around) time. They have now introduced scratch cards (so effectively gambling) in order to make a buck or two. (Not many takers for that one.) And they are one of the few airlines that are so efficient at turn-around that often they leave ahead of schedule and so arrive ahead of schedule. Pity about the congestion at their London hubs. One worrying sign for Ryanair is that their staff do not seem to be as satisfied as they used to be.

Regional airports are great. Before Ryanair came along nobody could see how to make money flying to them. Imagine being able to fly to Karlsruhe from Stansted (Ryanair) or Katowice from Luton (Wizzair). It's a luxury nobody would have imagined even five years ago. It is the best of all possible times to be an airline passenger living near Stansted and Luton.

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