- Airport Investment Details
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- Fast Fact Report
Ryanair is Europe's largest airline, the largest low-cost carrier, and one of the world's largest airlines as measured by international passengers carried. Ryanair's largest hub is at London Stansted Airport, with its second largest base at Dublin Airport. The carrier operates a comprehensive network of services across Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa with a fleet of over 300 B737-800 aircraft.
Location of Ryanair main hub (London Stansted Airport)
Ryanair share price
LCCs will continue to evolve into hybrids of the original core model. CAPA and OAG consider Ryanair fits the LCC profile and it is included in our reporting on this basis. Please note: when reporting for an airline is changed from or to LCC the historical data is not affected and it can lead to a distortion in the current reported data. Contact us if you have any queries.
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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.
Romania aviation Part 3: Blue Air opens Liverpool base and creates new markets; TAROM feels the heat
CAPA's first two parts of this analysis of Romanian aviation and the country's leading airlines highlighted the rapid, LCC-fuelled growth in the market of the past two years. The home-grown LCC Blue Air has overtaken the national airline TAROM in passenger numbers and fleet size, although Wizz Air is the largest airline in the market and Ryanair is also growing fast in the country. This third part of the analysis considers respective route networks and the competitive positions of TAROM and Blue Air.
Blue Air announced in Oct-2016 that it will establish a base in Liverpool in 2017, with new routes from the UK city to a range of European destinations outside Romania. This is a sign that Blue Air is taking the fight to airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet as it embraces the pan-European LCC model. Blue Air CEO Gheorghe Racaru has said, "The UK is a strategic market for Blue Air and we strongly believe that basing a 737-800 at Liverpool will allow us to strengthen our position as one of Europe’s fastest growing airlines".
For its part, TAROM, loss-making in contrast with Blue Air's profitability, is embarking on a restructuring following a change of management. It is facing increased competition on its network, while Blue Air has targeted its growth on routes where competitors are scarce or non-existent.
The first part of CAPA's analysis of the aviation market in Romania examined its rapid growth, driven by LCCs. Romania has become an important battleground for two foreign airlines – Wizz Air (the biggest airline in the country) and Ryanair. Local low cost airline Blue Air is also growing rapidly, while Romania's government-owned national airline, TAROM, is stagnating.
This second report on the Romanian aviation market looks at the country's two main home-grown airlines, in particular the development of their capacity and fleet. Traffic data for the two are scarce but it seems that Blue Air, which commenced operations in 2004, is now larger than TAROM by number of annual passengers carried.
After a change of ownership in 2013 Blue Air seems to have been revitalised and has adopted a more pan-European strategy, with bases in Turin and Larnaca and a base planned for Liverpool in 2017. Its growth has also been prompted by the aggressive expansion of Wizz Air and Ryanair in Romania. Blue Air, now bigger than TAROM, became a full member of IATA in Jan-2016.
Part three of CAPA's analysis will present details of the respective route networks and competitive positions of TAROM and Blue Air.
CAPA's previous analysis of the 3Q2016 results of Europe's big three legacy airline groups highlighted a fall in their collective operating margin, after growth in 1H2016. This report shows that Europe's five leading LCCs, in aggregate, also suffered a fall in profit and margin in the quarter.
Three of the five – Ryanair, Norwegian and Wizz Air – improved their profit margin in the quarter, but easyJet's drop in margin was heavy enough to bring down the collective result. Pegasus' margin also declined.
Nevertheless, the LCC five remain collectively far more profitable than the legacy three. Moreover Europe's two most profitable airlines, Ryanair and Wizz Air, look set to increase their margin lead this year. Even easyJet, which has had a bad year by its standards, achieved a higher margin for calendar 9M2016 than the most profitable of the big three legacy groups, which was IAG.
The divergence of results in the European sector suggest that not all airlines are following the same cycle. However the collective margin decline for the continent's leading LCCs, and its major legacy airline groups, at least gives reason to question whether or not the cyclical upswing may have run its course.
Romania's air travel market is growing rapidly, with a 20% increase in seat numbers expected in 2016 – the third straight year of double-digit growth. This growth has been inextricably linked with the expansion of tourism to Romania and the development of routes operated by low cost airlines.
The biggest airline in Romania is not Romanian, but has seven aircraft bases in the country. For Wizz Air, also the biggest airline in Central/Eastern Europe, Romania is its second largest market. The ultra-LCC has approximately one third of seat capacity in Romania, more than the combined share of the shrinking flag carrier TAROM and the rapidly growing local LCC Blue Air.
Ryanair – the biggest airline in Europe but number two in Central/Eastern Europe – has Wizz Air in its sights. Ryanair is number four in Romania, but it is now the fastest growing leading airline in the country. It opened its first two Romanian bases at Bucharest and Timișoara in Nov-2016 and plans more, once it negotiates the right airport fees for its business model.
As these three LCCs pursue growth in Romania, the national airline TAROM has been cutting capacity. Further analysis will consider the market position and network development of TAROM and Blue Air in more detail.
Ryanair and Fraport announced on 2-Nov-2016 that the Irish ultra-LCC will open its 85th base at Frankfurt Airport, Lufthansa's main hub. Ryanair will base two aircraft at the airport and launch four new leisure routes in Mar-2017. With a daily departure to each of Alicante, Faro, Malaga and Palma de Mallorca, it expects to attract 400,000 passengers pa.
Although Ryanair has been increasing its primary airport presence for some time, CEO Michael O'Leary had previously said that Frankfurt Airport was one of the few, alongside London Heathrow and Paris CDG, that Ryanair would not serve. Frankfurt was seen not only as too expensive, but also as too congested for Ryanair's short turnaround times. Details of Ryanair's agreement with Frankfurt Airport have not been disclosed, but it is likely that the airline has secured favourable terms in return for traffic growth targets.
Ryanair's move into Frankfurt is relatively small compared with its operations in Berlin Schoenefeld and Cologne/Bonn, but this development supports its growth ambitions in Germany. Ryanair's average revenue per passenger is half that of Lufthansa's network airlines. Its move increases the competitive pressure on Germany's national airline.