Conquering Europe- 10% and counting
Inspired by the story last week that Ryanair is now the largest airline in Italy, we’ve taken a look at the share of capacity that this confident and provocative Irish airline has across Europe.
Italy is the seventh country where Ryanair now holds the largest capacity share, along with Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia, Spain and Poland.
There are another seven markets where Ryanair is now the second largest airline. In each case the dominant airline is either what we might once have called the national airline or flag carrier, or – as in Hungary and Bulgaria – it’s fellow low cost carrier Wizz Air.
The fact that Ryanair is also the third biggest airline, at least in terms of scheduled airline seats offered for sale in the market, in three of Europe’s largest markets – the UK, France and Germany, means that Ryanair is easily the biggest airline in Europe. As of March 2018, the airline has a 10% share of capacity across Europe and offers some 38% more seats than nearest rival easyJet. In terms of routes served its lead is even higher with more than double the number of airport pairs served than easyJet operates.
The last five years have seen the already hugely successful Ryanair undergo a makeover which was far from superficial. The low cost model was energised with new deals on aircraft and the airline transitioned from nasty to engaging in terms of reputation. There’s no question the business model is working but at what point will the airline have saturated the market and where will they turn next for growth?