IS RYANAIR’S WEBSITE ITS STRATEGIC MARKETING TOOL?
Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Ryanair was set up by the Ryan family and began operating in 1985 with a share capital of £1 only, and a staff of 25 individuals. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) report in 2013, the low-cost airline, with its main bases at Dublin and London Stansted Airports, was considered the largest European airline in terms of domestic, international, and scheduled passenger figures and passenger-kilometers. The airline has 1,600 flights scheduled daily across 185 destinations, with 300 Boeing 737-800 jets in operation. The airline is growing rapidly, serving 35 countries in Africa (Morocco), and the Middle East (Cyprus and Israel), and Europe. In 2014, the airline saw an increase in traffic by 11 percent. The operations outgrew its previous office space at the Dublin Airport, and in April, 2014, Ryanair’s new €20m Dublin Head Office in Airside Business Park, which was around 100,000 square feet, was officially opened. In the same year, Ryanair launched its “Always Getting Better” program to address things that customers did not appreciate. It also agreed to purchase up to 200 Boeing 737 Max 8s (100 confirmed and 100 options) for over $22 billion. In December 2015, the airline opened an operating base at Milan Malpensa Airport. The key trends for Ryanair over recent years are shown below (year ending March, 2015):
In December 2014, Ryanair announced that it would inaugurate its 72nd base in 2015 in the Azores. In 2016, Ryanair will work towards developing a low-cost airline named VivaCan. The airline service has projected to have provided service to 160 million passengers in 2024.
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1. Visit Ryanair’s website. Compare its website with one of its competitor, like Spirit Air, and give recommendations on how Ryanair can utilize its website as a strategic marketing tool to enhance its competitiveness. How can it improve the website to function more effectively and enhance the company’s efficiency in serving its potential customers?
2. Can you identify any strengths and weaknesses of Ryanair based on information provided in the case and the data given in the table above?