Ryanair announced (12-Nov-2012) it would open its 53rd base and second in Poland at Krakow in Apr-2013 with two-based aircraft and unveiled four new routes (31 in total), to/from Dortmund, Gothenburg, Manchester and Kos, as Ryanair invests over USD140 million at Krakow Airport. Ryanair said it will grow at Krakow as follows:
Ryanair announces its 53rd base – Krakow
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LOT Polish Airlines: now restructured, and long haul focus is on 2020 growth. Partnerships critical
On 8-Sep-2016 LOT Polish Airlines announced its "2020 profitable growth strategy". This involves a goal to achieve "sustainable viability", after a restructuring programme which returned LOT to operating profit in 2014 after six loss-making years. Its privatisation may even be back on the agenda.
LOT currently ranks behind LCCs Ryanair and Wizz Air by share of traffic in Poland, which offers superior traffic growth potential versus Europe as a whole. The airline aims to increase passenger numbers from 4.3 million in 2015 to 10 million in 2020, growing its fleet from 43 to 70 aircraft. LOT's expansion will focus on long haul, particularly North America and Asia, where it currently has only five routes and where competition is considerably lower than on short/medium haul. Initial plans include the launch of Warsaw-Seoul this winter and a return to Warsaw-New York Newark next summer.
According to data from LOT, its restructuring has left it with a fairly efficient cost base by legacy airline standards and this will be important in competing with LCCs (but there is still a cost gap with LCCs). LOT's growth will focus on long haul but will need short-haul European feed – and partnerships. Although LOT no longer appears to be considering leaving the Star Alliance, it remains excluded from American and Asian JVs. Further, those JVs preclude members from working with LOT. Partnership growth will be as critical as it will be challenging.
Ryanair: digital success raises ancillary target to 30% as it becomes the "Amazon of air travel"
Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair's Chief Marketing Officer, has said that its website aims to become the "Amazon of air travel". The airline that was built around selling seats on flights as cheaply as possible – and not much else – now wants to sell a much wider range of products and services. In Oct-2016 it launched its new accommodation service, Ryanair Rooms, and it plans Ryanair Holidays by next summer.
Now well into its third year, Ryanair's 'Always Getting Better' programme (abbreviated to 'AGB') has been a demonstrable success. Accompanied by a move to increase Ryanair's presence in primary airports, AGB has aimed to improve customer service and reinvigorate its digital interfaces. Since AGB was initiated in 2014 Ryanair's passenger numbers have returned to double-digit rates of growth, and load factor has gained more than 10ppts.