Recently, the Chief Executive of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, has revealed the company’s plan for expansion to the Financial Times. He is looking to double Ryanair’s current fleet size of about 270 aircrafts as well as increase the passenger numbers from 72.1 million in 2010/11 to between 120 million and 130 million by the end of 2021. This ambitious plan, if followed through to fruition, would place Ryanair among one of the largest airlines in the entire world.
Ryanair is Irish low-cost airline headquartered in Dublin Airport with around 270 Boeing 737 to 800 airplanes and over 1100 routes across Europe. The company has made its name through rapid expansion, which resulted from the deregulation of the European aviation industry near the end of the 20th century, as well as a low-cost business model. Currently, Ryanair has a number of competitors also providing flight services cheaply, most notably, EasyJet.
For the proposed expansion, Ryanair has been in contact with its long-term US supplier, Boeing, as well as the Russian aircraft manufacturer Irkut and the Chinese Comac. However, since all of the airplanes that Ryanair currently own were manufactured by Boeing, analysts speculate that if the company added in fleets from another maker, the incompatibilities would undoubtedly increase some costs.
Regardless of which maker to purchase planes from, Ryanair has its eyes set on expansion as O’Leary said that the financial troubles in the Eurozone would boost demand for low-cost travel and could help Ryanair to increase its market share.