February 2014: Ryanair

Company of the Month | Mon 17 Feb | Author – Business & Finance
Michael O'Leary

Ryanair recently announced that it will create over 50 new IT and digital jobs as the airline company looks to transform Europe’s largest travel website – Ryanair.com.

The airline is also developing a marketing platform – which will be available in April – and has plans to develop a new mobile app, to be released in June.

Ryanair is currently recruiting for web developers, designers, analysts, software engineers, SEO and content, CRM and email specialists in what the company has described as ‘a drive to develop a world leading digital marketing platform’. Robin Kiely, head of Communications at Ryanair said: “As Ryanair rolls-out our new digital strategy, we’re hoping to recruit over 50 IT and digital professionals to drive these revolutionary developments.”

Traffic report

In early February, Ryanair released its January traffic statistics and found that traffic grew to 4.6 million customers (up 5%) and annual traffic to January 2014 rose to 81.6 million customers (up 3%).

Of these increases, Kiely said: “Ryanair carried 4.6 million customers in January, thanks to the success of our lower fares, our easier to use website and customer service improvements. Further improvements will be rolled out over the coming months as Ryanair continues to lower prices and improve our industry leading customer service.”

Earlier this month, Ryanair also announced the addition of extra flights on four Cork routes along with additional extras on four Dublin routes in order to reach growing demand.

Similarly, Ryanair completed a series of senior management appointments which become effective as of February 1st, as the airline implements its strategy of improving its customer service, lowering its air fares and expanding its route network and bases across Europe.

Aviation sector

Since its establishment in 1985, Ryanair has grown from a small airline servicing the Waterford to London route, to one of Europe’s largest airlines – carrying more than 81 million passengers – with a fleet size of 305 and flying to 175 destinations worldwide.

Despite steep increases in fuel costs in recent years, Ryanair figures show that the company has continued to thrive. In March 2013, in the single biggest aircraft purchase ever agreed by the airline, Ryanair bought 15 new aircrafts, bringing the fleet to 305 Boeing 737-800s while also placing orders with Boeing for 175 new aircraft.

Also in 2013, Ryanair opened seven new bases at Chania, Eindhoven, Fez, Krakow, Maastricht, Marrakech and Zadar, as it grew to 57 bases and over 1,600 routes.

 About the CEO

Michael O’Leary is chief executive of Ryanair. Often accused of PR spin, the flamboyant face of the low fares airline has regularly makes the headlines.

O’Leary has earned a fiery reputation for his maverick and no-nonsense management style based entirely on delivering results, which he has succeeded in doing since he took the helm in 1994.

O’Leary is originally from Mullingar and was educated at Clongowes Wood College, Co Kildare. He studied business at TCD, graduating in 1983 with a second class honours degree. He worked as a tax consultant with KPMG (Stokes Kennedy Crowley), and ran two small retail outlets before becoming financial advisor to Tony Ryan at his then small and troubled airline, Ryanair. He worked as deputy chief executive of the airline between 1991 and 1994, and was then promoted to chief executive of Ryanair.

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Business & Finance, Company of the Month

Business & Finance, in association with SAS Ireland, recognises excellence in business through the ‘Company of the Month’ award. The Company of the Month award recognises the company which best demonstrates outstanding business leadership, sustainable growth, innovative strategy, strong financial returns and employee development.