Archive for the 'RyanAir' Category

Friday Fun – Ryanair Business Class Services…

Mr. O’Leary, the CEO of RyanAir had a few words in a German Press Meeting about the upcoming business class on the future Ryanair long-haul operations… Simply put it’s not going to be a “Bed & Breakfast”, but will be classified as “Bed & Blowjob” according to his explanations. Attila, thanks for the link!

by balint01

Ryanair Angels With Bigger Breasts

Remember those “find seven little differences between the two pictures” type of riddles? I played that last time when I was waiting at the Dublin airport for my Ryanair flight to depart.

The riddle was about finding the differences between the old and new style paints of Ryanair’s Boeing 737-800 aircrafts. There are a few small differences like:

  • the letters in Ryanair on the side of the plane are bigger
  • the harp-angel logo in front of the word Ryanair has a different color
  • the engine is painted in a different way
  • in the old paint there is a narrow black stripe between the yellow stripe and the background white color
  • in the new paint the yellow stripe runs up to the tail of the plan

Ryanair plane at Dublinpaint01.jpg

The funniest difference however is something Mr O’Leary wanted. So if you think this is a mistake or it was made by a different artist or there is any other reason, forget about it. This was a well planned step from the most conscious, most agressive and the most genius CEO of the airline industry.

What is it? Well, it’s a male world – nobody knows it better than us, women – so the solution is simple. The angel that is the silouette of the harp in the logo of Ryanair has bigger breasts. Does it really work in such a simple way with men? Well, it is your choice to judge it, but if anybody on this planet watches the logo just a second longer or notices the logo at all, it was worth it. Well done!

Ryanair Angels With Bigger BreastsRyanair Angels With Bigger Breasts

Is it just me to see the jaw of a shark in that logo watching from a different angle? ūüôā

By Szafi

Ryanair’s New Booking Engine – Now What?

The media was loud about Ryanair’s new booking engine to be launched this Monday. I even read it in the news that they managed to migrate and the turned their site back on even before deadline.

I tried to test it yesterday evening, but I ran into errors all the time. Then I gave it up and tried it again this morning.

Ryanair website screenshotI was surprised to find out that nothing has changed. I tried to book a flight between Budapest and Glasgow for 2 persons. First I received a price of HUF 7990 for the outbound flight and the same price for the return flight. Then I selected them and on the next page I found 14 990 for both ways because of the 2 persons. Besides that on both ways they showed me taxes and fees and in the end the total cost was HUF 54 160 (1 Eur = 260 HUF). So nothing is true about showing gross prices. (See screenshot for details)

I am wondering if they failed the upgrade and this is still the old version of their online booking engine or if this is the new engine and the managed to slap the whole worldwide media on the face.

There is only one more thing to mention about the whole story. I tried to find a media contact to them. It is not available on their website or anywhere else. Although I am a kind of a fan of Mr O’Leary, I don’t get this. it is absolutely not professional.

By Szafi

No Booking At Ryanair For 3 Days

Ryanair is temporarily closing down both its online and call center booking office between 10 pm on 22 February and 11 pm on 25 February. This painful step is necessary, because the airline migrates to a new booking engine that will comply with EU’s regulation to include all taxes and extra fees into the ticket price.

As AirlineWorld wrote about it earlier, the European Commission decided to be very strict about airlines communiating prices that do not include taxes or other extra fees. Although the initiation may sound good for the customer, there are several circumstances that makes it impossible to intorduce such a business model in the aviation industry. See our earlier article about the topic.

According to Ryanair’s spokesperson, the airline has already missed a January 31 deadline, but got an extension of the deadline until the end of February.

I am personally doubtful if Ryanair will be able to make it – not the upgrade, but to include all taxes and extra fares into the prices – because to fully comply with the regulation the low-cost airline will need to change their policy about the extra charge in checked in baggage and so on. Once the new software will be up and running, we will definately test it.

By Szafi 

Best Of AirlineWorld 2007

This is the last day of the year. As billions of people around the world, we also took a look back to what happened in the old year and made some New Year’s Resolutions.

For us 2007 was not a full year as we started our blog in June. It was a nice calm Sunday and Szafi wrote her first post about the Radio Alphabet – a useful tool not just for aviation fans. Balint01 joined her on the 7th with his first post about “Fuller Planes – Good Or Bad?” – a brief explanation of revenue and capacity management of airlines.

A380 

A380 was one of our main topics this year. We could see the a video of an imaginery evacuation of an A380, we reported on that quite unusual initiation that Singapore Airlines sold the first tickets to the A380 on e-Bay and gave the money (USD 1,25 million) for charity. We tried to find out more about the possible cabin configurations and then we reported on the first delivery.

Boeing 787

Boeing 787, the Dreamliner was our other favorite topic. We wrote about it when it was revealed, we put it in our blog header, we reported on the first announcement of delay that predicted 2 months. Now it seems that a 6-month delay is more realistic.

Developments 

Besides A380 and B787 we saw the birth of a Russian jet called Sukhoi Superjet and a Chinese one called ARJ21-700. We kept track of technology trends in aviation. We wrote an article about RFID usage at airlines and airports, about e-ticketing, a new online payment method at Qantas, a weightless flight, a solar powered, unmanned aircraft. Also we were interested in service developments such as the new Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow Airport, Lufthansa’s new A380 First Class Concept, Boeing’s 747 development to keep up with A380,

Crashes 

Unfortunately again some serious accidents happened. We saw around 200 people dying in a very tragical crash in Sao Paulo, brazil. 19 people died in an accident of Air Moorea on the way to Tahiti. When China Airline’ 737 burst into fire and blew up, everybody could escape in time thanks to the flight crew, who was criticized for being rude – we thought it was better being rude than being inactive. Later it turned out that a loose bolt caused the fire. There was a sad collision of two planes at an Air Show in Radom, Poland. SAS Airlineshad a bad series of crash landings – without serious injuries – of its Dash 8 turboprop planes. Finally they decided on grounding all their Dash 8 fleet. 87 died in One-Two-Go Airlines crash in Phuket, Thailand. A few days later rallye driver champion Colin McRae died in a helicopter crash over Scotland. The most commented article was the weird accident of an Airbus A340 on the ground of the Airbus factory during testing. The last serious accident of the year was an MD-83 crash in Turkey killing 56.

Photo reports 

We received a lot of photos from our friends and airline enthusiasts, so we could show a photo report of a Royal Aircraft in Budapest, Red Bull Air Race in Budapest, an Air Show in Kecskemet and the A340 Airbus crash at the Toulouse Airbus factory.

Innovations 

We criticized airlines and other players of the industry about wrong steps and we were happy to present good initiations of other players. We found KLM’s promotion: a gift of a costmetics set for online bookers a very smart and useful initiation. We loved Iberia’s enviroment-friendly attitude with naming their new aircrafts Royal Owl, Imperial Eagle and other endangered species. We could read funny comments about an interesting topic: Vatican’s Air Mistral. IATA’s initiation of a greener aviation industry was also worth a post.

Sex and rock and roll 

And finally we tried to entertain those not interested in professional matters of the airline business with articles like Sex in an airplane, Sexy stewardess uniforms – with special attention to the self-designed uniform of Easyjet, Superstar pilots, Special aircraft paintings and we learned about where lost luggage end up going.

We also lost a very key figure of the European airline indusry. Tony Ryan, the founder of Ryanair died on 03 October at the age of 71. Net year we will definately write an article about him, because only a few know about his role in today’s aviation business.

And what is our New Year’s resolution? Well, we’ll do our best to entertain you and draw your attention to the magic world of airlines we so much love.

We both wish you a very happy, successful new year and please keep on reading us! ūüôā

By Szafi and balint01

Aer Lingus Appeals Against Ryanair

Aer Lingus Group lodged a formal appeal with the EU Court of First Instance in Luxembourg as part of what it called “the legal process towards removing Ryanair from its shareholder register.”

Last month the European Commission said it does not have the legal authority to order Ryanair to sell off or reduce its shareholding in EI because it holds only a minority stake and does not have effective control. Aer Lingus, however, believes the merger regulation does give the EC that power, as the stake was part of the original takeover attempt that the regulatory body prohibited.

Aer Lingus also asked the court, “as a matter of urgency, to make an order to prevent Ryanair from interfering in the running of Aer Lingus’ business pending judgment.”

Ryanair dismissed the EI announcement. “The European Commission has already confirmed that since Ryanair has neither de facto nor de jure control over Aer Lingus, there are no legal grounds for such a compulsory disposal,” it said in a statement. The LCC currently holds 29.4% of its smaller rival.

See background story on ATW Online 

Flight Review: Ryanair

I was lucky enough to spend this weekend in Liverpool, which was definately a great fun. We saw a Liverpool vs Fulham football match (2:0) among 47 000 people, I heard them singing songs for Steve Gerrard, Sami Hyypia, Fernando Torres and even the coach, Rafael Benitez. I heard them singing “You’ll never walk alone” (which is a translation of a song from a Hungarian vaudeville) and I saw what a great job the English do in order to avoid agression and fighting inside and around their football stadiums. I visited the Beatles museum and heard people singing in a karaoke bar in the city of the Beatles. Liverpool will be capital of culture in 2008 and it is 800 years old this year, so if you haven’t been there yet, it is a must to go there.

A RyanAir Boeing Aircraft

On the ground 

I took the direct flight of Ryanair between Budapest and Liverpool. Officially it left Budapest at 5.10 pm. In practice doors were closed in time, but then we had to wait about 30 minutes on the ground. All low costs in Budapest take off from the older terminal 1. About 2-3 months ago a new train stop was built outside the terminal, so it is very easy to reach that terminal, whil e terminal 2 for network carriers is still harder and more expensive to get to. This is not the ususal practice in case of low cost carriers. It took us about 20 minutes to get from the Western Railway station to the airport by train. For some reason it is impossible to check in online for Ryanair’s flights departing from Budapest, so we had to stand in the long queue to be checked in. About 20 minutes before the gate was opened, people started to queue up for boarding, because boarding cards were not assigned to seats, so everybody wanted to get the best seats possible. This is a very good strategy from low cost carriers, this way everybody rushes into the plane and there is no need to wait long for passengers getting lost in the transit area. After gates were open, we could not simply board the aircraft, we had to get into a bus that took us to the plane and again we had to wait in a queue until we could finally board.

On the way back it was a little different. There passengers could check in online, so there was a priority queue for passengers who paid online fot this service. There we could immediately walk to the aircraft and board, so it was worth it to be at the gate in time.

In the air

In the aircraft we could see commercials of a phone card company on all hand luggage containers. After take-off
on both ways flight attendants first served hot and cold drinks, snacks and sandwiches. On the way back we bought a boxed triangles sandwich with roast chicken and salad for £3.45.

In the second round we heard a commercial from the loud speaker saying we can win zillions of pounds, we just need to buy scratch cards from the flight attendants. Then they took the cards around, but hardly anybody bought them. Again a commercial told us about those phone cards advertised on the lockers and again flight attendant ran around selling phone cards.

Then came the duty free part. Perfumes, watches, usual duty free stuff. I bought a Ryanair plastic aircraft model for £8.30 (I collect aircraft models). After the duty free again refreshment and snacks, then preparations for landing. On both ways we were told not to leave any garbage, newspapers or magazines around ourselves, because due to short turnaround time there will not be any cleaning. True. There was no cleaning. There was garbage around the seat on both ways. On the way back even one of the flight attendants helped the ground handling staff in the boarding process. At Malev flight attendants were always complaining that they have too many things to do. I think they should serve on a Ryanair flight for just one day.

Conclusion

From John Lennon International Airport we took a bus for £1.40 each to the city center. It is again peanuts taking the facts network airlines always frighten passengers with high ground travel costs. In Budapest the train costs HUF 300 per person which equals $1,5 or £0.8, so again we cannot call it a high price. The ticket was USD 150 return for 2 persons, including taxes and other costs. The only inconvenience of a low cost airline was the boarding process, but besides that everything was perfect, we were on time, there were no hidden costs and the whole weekend was a great experience.

Finally a nice little addendum to my story. When we arrived at John Lennon Airport, the first thing I saw was a doormat. It said “Welcome to John Lennon Airport”, there was this very famous scatch of Lennon from the cover of the Imagine album and a quote that tells everything:

“Above us only sky”

By Szafi 

Tony Ryan – Founder Of RyanAir Passes Away

Founder of RyanAir

Tony Ryan (02FEB1936 ‚Äď 03OCT2007), died yesterday after a long illness, at the age of 71. Dr. Ryan became a key figure of Irish and Global Aviation during his lifetime.

After finishing university at the University of Limerick -where he even competed in the 1958 Olympic games, finishing 7th in the 10,000 metres- he joined Aer Lingus (then Irish state airline). Starting as a dispatch clerk, he worked his way up to leasing manager before founding his own leasing company Guinness Peat Aviation, later known as GPA, in 1975. GPA was one of the first pioneering companies in a new business: aircraft leasing. The $50,000 that Ryan, Aer Lingus and Guinness Peat Group invested to launch GPA paid huge dividends for all and made Ryan one of the wealthiest men in Ireland (he was the 7th wealthiest individual from Ireland in the Sunday Times Rich List 2007 with ‚ā¨1,503 mn (¬£1,010 mn)). Using GPA as a vehicle, Ryan began buying used aircraft and leasing them to airlines, eventually ordering planes directly from the manufacturers and getting into a fierce but publicly respectful rivalry with ILFC (the biggest aircraft leasing company). By the early 1990s, GPA held orders and options for close to 600 (!) aircraft. GPA’s business model, however, became increasingly complex as it entered into numerous joint ventures with aircraft manufacturers and airlines to acquire specific types of aircraft. More and more of the privately held company’s income derived from aircraft trading rather than core lease rentals and its massive speculative orders left it vulnerable to the early-1990s downturn – which also saw the company being floated to the stock exchange at the worst possible time. GPA basically collapsed in 1992, but GE eventually stepped in and snapped up most of the GPA fleet, propelling GE Commercial Aviation Services into the forefront of the operating lease business virtually overnight. GE as the successor of GPA still keeps Ireland in the main bloodstream of aviation, especially in the leasing business.

A RyanAir Boeing Aircraft

During the successful era of the GPA operations he also launched RyanAir 23 years ago. It first took to the skies in July, 1985 with a 15 seater Bandeirante aircraft, operating daily from Waterford in the southeast of Ireland to London Gatwick. Following the first years of failure and big losses, the airline started to prosper after Ryan hired his tax consultant, Michael O’Leary to run the troubled airline. Under the management of O’Leary and the guidance of Ryan, RyanAir has grown to be one of the largest international passenger airlines in the world, with more than 50 million passengers a year, and has transformed the European Skies as well as the travel habits of the Europeans, basically creating the prosperous low-cost model on the continent.

Ryanair’s Chief Executive, Michael O’Leary said in a statement yesterday:

‚ÄúTony Ryan was one of the greatest Irishmen of the 20th Century. His many achievements in business, education, sport, the arts and heritage preservation leave an astonishing legacy to an extraordinary man. He was immensely supportive of, and took great pride in his family and their many successes. It was a privilege to work for him and to learn from him. I will miss his guidance, encouragement and friendship. We are all determined that Ryanair will continue to carry his name with pride and distinction‚ÄĚ.

Tony Ryan has also held a 16% stake in Singapore’s discount carrier: Tiger Airways, which was founded in 2003, but I have no doubt that we will all remember him as the founder of RyanAir!

by balint01

RyanAir Responds to Alitalia Reduction Plan At Milan-Malpensa (MPX)

Alitalia logo We know that Alitalia has been struggling to survive basically each day of operations for years now, and that several privatization attempts by the Italian government have failed, as most contenders have backed out of the deal, as soon as they learned about the real numbers, and the real situation at the Italian Flag-carrier. Not so long ago, after the last failed privatization tender, the Italian government named a new CEO and management, which after a few weeks have come up with a survival and restructuring plan.

It was announced on 05SEP2007, that Alitalia plans to scrap around 150-170 flights of its 340 daily flight from¬†Milan Malpensa airport (MPX), as part of the new business plan to stop (or reduce) the financial difficulties. The airline confirmed around¬†the beginning of September, that is “no longer able to operate efficiently out of two hubs” due to mostly economic reasons. At that time¬†there were no details of the plan available, but¬†the Italian carrier¬†said that its new strategy includes the increase of activities at Rome Fiumicino while¬†repositioning Milan Malpensa flights by focusing on specific business demands. It would also mean consolidation of its cargo and crew bases¬†as well as of maintenance activites at the main airport of the North-Italian city of Milan.

Milan is the business and industrial center of Northern-Italy and a relatively rich region just South of the Alps, and one of the richest areas in Italy. If Alitalia had flown a daily 340 flights from the airport until now, and just all of a sudden cuts half of those, it would mean a huge loss in air travel services for the region. But under the European Union Open-Skies agreement, we could be certain immediately after the plan was revealed that another European airline would move into the vacuum of 170 missing daily flights, if (or as soon as) it had the chance. The real question was only the identity of the airline(s) that would take over most of the market left behind by Alitalia. 

RyanAir¬†On 13SEP2007 (so only 8 days after the Alitalia announcement!!) Dublin-based Irish RyanAir has told the press on a news conference, that¬†they are ready to launch 80 new routes from two Milan airports stepping in to the place left by Alitalia. Europe’s biggest low-cost carrier¬†is prepared to use an additional 12 airliners at Milan’s Malpensa airport (worth an $840 million investment by 2012) and another six at¬†Serio airport in Bergamo (which means an investment of $420 million by 2012 next to the already based 4 aircraft), according to company¬†spokesman Peter Sherrard. The planes are worth more than USD$1 billion at list prices and are part of a hefty backlog of 171 (!) planes¬†Ryanair has on order with Boeing. At Malpensa, Ryanair would launch 50 European flights and 10 to domestic Italian destinations, he said. It¬†is not yet known (or announced) whether if RyanAir will buy slots (slot = the right to land (and take-off) at a particular airport at a¬†given time-frame) from Alitalia or directly from the concerned airports.

If we look at the numbers, there are 170 flights being cut back by Alitalia, and 80 of those already have an alternative offered by RyanAir.¬†If we expect that about 20 percent of the AZ flights to be cut were losing money big time and were not sustainable under any circumstances,¬†there are still about 60 flights up for grabs!! Who will be the next one to move into Milan-Malpensa and service the Italian passengers out¬†of that region? Probably Air One, the second biggest Italian airline will take over some routes and will gain a bigger market share, and I¬†can also foresee that Lufthansa/Swiss may use the vicinity of their hubs (Munich and Z√ľrich) to grab some of the passengers on their¬†connecting flights. And then of course other low-costs could also be targeting the unserved demand, but that is highly risky to tip any of¬†those as a second player after RyanAir.

by balint01

RyanAir Charges For Airport Check-in Desk Usage

RyanAir  RyanAir Рwho are usually the first to introduce new charges in the European low-cost air travel market Рhave published their plan to start charging extra for passengers who use the check-in desk at the departure airports, to check-in for their RyanAir flights.

RyanAir actually plans to simplify the check-in and boarding process, cut costs and increase ancillary revenue with this action. The fee will be ¬£2/‚ā¨3 to each person using an airport check-in desk beginning 20SEP2007. They also claim that the fee “reflects the cost of airport check-in desk facilities“, but it will also encourage customers to use RyanAir’s Check’N’Go Web check-in service. So basically this is the next step in pushing the passengers towards self-service in as many steps of the flying process as possible. If you think about it:

  • 10 years ago we all required personal assistance¬†while booking our flights. Now we do it ourselves over the internet.
  • 5 years ago we all needed personal assistance while checking-in for our flights. Now we do it ourselves using self-service check-in kiosks, web and wap applications.
  • Until about a year ago, no matter how we checked ourselves in, we required to¬†be assisted in printing¬†our magnetic stripe boarding passes. Now more and more airlines use bar codes for check-in¬†and boarding, so we can actually print a standard size paper ourselves at home and proceed to passport control/boarding immediately after arriving to the airport.
  • Until also about a year ago, we always stood in the queue at the boarding gate and handed over our magnetic stripe boarding pass to the gate agent, who then assisted us while placing it in the machine, which read it and allowed us to proceed. Now at more and more airports they offer self-boarding facilities, where we can either load our boarding passes to the machine ourselves, or just waive the bar-coded piece of paper to the reader, which opens the gate for us.

The last four steps are now encouraged by RyanAir the hard way:

DO IT YOURSELF OR PAY FOR THE ASSISTANCE!!

Airport Check-In Desks

It is funny, that the RyanAir until now used to charge the exact same fee (¬£2/‚ā¨3)¬†for¬†its web-check-in service and the airport desks were free. Now it’s turned around, and the passengers are encouraged to take advantage of the early, web-check-in facility, and indirectly are also encouraged to travel with only carry-on baggage (as if you have a baggage to check-in, you are forced to visit the airport desk and then pay the fee…) The Priority Boarding remains an option while checking in online, which again costs ¬£2/‚ā¨3.According to the low-cost airline: “Ryanair’s Web check-in and priority boarding service has proven very popular among passengers by freeing them from check-in queues and departure gate queues. However, clearly charging for this service has acted as a disincentive. We expect that providing this service free of charge will significantly increase usage,” it added, noting that the new measures “will, we believe, encourage more and more passengers to travel without checked-in baggage.” I think, the service being free of charge will indeed increase usage, but the real incentive will be not paying for the airport check-in desks…

There is one question which is not yet clear for me however: if you have a baggage to be checked-in, how much do you have to pay? In our earlier post we have investigated the charges for extra, checked-in baggages. Now the charge for those (¬£5 (‚ā¨6)) at RyanAir has basically been increased by ¬£2/‚ā¨3, as when checking in a bag, you must use the airport check-in desk… So you should think twice about having a non-carry on baggage with RyanAir, as it will cost you a minimum of ¬£7/‚ā¨9 from 20September2007!!

by balint01


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