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Why Ryanair Not Interested In New EU Countries?  
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5684 posts, RR: 19
Posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 4428 times:

Looking on FR's destination network, Ryanair appears to completely ignore the new EU countries, where, as other airlines already discovered, is a significant potential for growth. Just recently introduced service to RIX is its one and only destination in Central/Eastern Europe.
Compared to extensive and flourishing network of its direct competitor it looks like Ryanair is completely missing the boat. EasyJet's destinations in new EU countries: PRG, BTS, WAW, BUD, KRK and LJU. Plus huge number of destinations operated by other LCCs like SmartWings, SkyEurope, V-bird, Jet2, EUjet, flybe, bmibaby, Germanwings, Air Berlin, Air Polonia, Wizz Air, and I'm sure I forgot a few others.
I don't want to start another FR bashing thread (there are plenty of them on a.net already) but would like to hear some serious thoughts and reasonable explanations why is it so.


16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAdamlaskiewicz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4190 times:

It is indeed rather strange how Ryanair have not made much of impact on Eastern Europe yet (apart from Riga). I was expecting Ryanair to be the first western LCC to start flying to the new EU member states after 1st May but surprisingly many new local airlines have started flourishing and perhaps Michael O'Leary is banking on these airlines going bust soon and Ryanair stepping in, in their place.

Having said that though I remember reading in the paper not that long ago a comment made by Mr O'Leary - words to the effect of: "Gdansk, who wants to go to Gdansk? There ain't a lot there after you've seen the shipyard wall." The thing is, I doubt he's ever been to Gdansk, let alone Poland or any Eastern European country!!! Perhaps he should pay a visit to Poland or the Czech Republic or Hungary and he'd soon see how much these countries have to offer. But if that's his attitude then never mind. There are plenty of other airlines now so people will choose them instead. I have relatives coming to visit soon - they're flying easyJet KRK-LTN for the grand sum of 65 EUR each so we don't need Ryanair!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


User currently offlineFlyssc From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7403 posts, RR: 57
Reply 2, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4160 times:

This forum is about Airlines and airliners....

What is "Ryanair" ?  Big grin


User currently offlineAdriaticflight From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2004, 515 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4188 times:

I agree with Adamlaskiewicz. It has been strange that ryanair haven't moved into the new states. Lets examine what routes they could fly:

London- Hungary (Drebrecen or Balaton) Hungary is very well served into Budapest and maybe the market is already saturated.

London - Slovenia (Maribor) not going to happen due to Easyjet in Ljubljana and Ryanair to Graz (only 1hour away).

London- Estonia (Tallinn) Very long flight time (for Ryanair) and they would have to be sure they could fill the places. Estonia is a small market.

London- Slovakia (Kosice) I would like to see this route because eastern Slovakia is very beautiful and is underserved by airlines. Before the success of Sky Europe I would have though Bratislava would have made a great Hub for ryanair.

London- Lithuania (Kaunas/Vilnius) I think this is a real possibility as Vilnius is very beautiful. If they chose Kaunas it would might save them money and is around 1hour away.

I believe the Polish market is saturated at the moment, but who knows maybe there are some Grass strips quickly renaming themselves 'Warsaw North' in the hope that Ryanair air will approach them.

I can't wait to see LCC expand to countries outside the EU - to places like CROATIA, SERBIA, BULGARIA and ROMANIA. Can anyone tell me why Germanwings can fly Cologne-Split but Rynair can't or doesn't fly Stansted-Split?


User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5684 posts, RR: 19
Reply 4, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4109 times:

"Gdansk, who wants to go to Gdansk? There ain't a lot there after you've seen the shipyard wall."

Adam, what a (fill-in for yourself) that guy is... I've read numerous negative threads on a.net about FR but did not have any personal opinion since Ryanair is absent from this region and haven't flown it myself yet. Quite frequent post was "I have nothing against Ryanair, but I hate O'Leary" I'm slowly getting the picture...
It's twice as stupid for him to say thing like that, because I believe it was HIS Ryanair's idea to start serving somewhat unknown destinations and actually create a market there. I don't want to be equally disrespectful and offend anyone so I won't be specific, but just have a look on their web and you'll see quite a few destinations that might cause the "What on Earth could you possibly see/do in _____" association.

I think there might be potential for another LCC to serve Slovenia, since there's plenty to do and see all year round. Prague will be within days served by 4 LCCs from within the London area (EasyJet, BMI baby, flybe, EUjet) so there's no reason why LJU shouldn't as well. Compact size of the country being an advantage in this case, I think.

There's even potential for (at least seasonal) intra-newEU LCC service and maybe down to Croatia as well, but it would have to be done quite differently than short-lived PRG-BUD service by Wizz Air. There's no wonder the service was shut down after a month or so. There was exactly 0 ad campaign to promote the service and I don't think anyone beyond aviation enthusiasts actually knew about Wizz Air flying PRG-BUD.


User currently offlineAdamlaskiewicz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4058 times:

O'Leary certainly is an ignorant man and I hope he'll regret having put his big mouth into action before engaging his tiny brain. Eastern Europe is beautiful and there is huge potential. In any case, cities such as Gdansk or Krakow, whilst not as well known as the Londons, Barcelonas, Romes etc of this world, are still quite famous cities, certainly more well known than a lot of the destinations that Ryanair serves. I just hope that he'll be sorry for what he said when he realises what a mistake he made.

I think the reason Ryanair has been so incredibly successful in flying to relatively unknown destinations is because many Brits have holiday homes (especially in France) and Ryanair is a cheap and fast way for people to travel back and forth to their second homes. Secondly (correct me if I'm wrong) these airports have subsidised Ryanair to operate the routes to Stansted. Thirdly, Ryanair has no competition to worry about on the majority of these routes (especially in southwestern and western France and northern Spain). This is probably why O'Leary is not so keen on flying to Eastern Europe as he probably sees it as a risk. For a start, he wouldn't get subsidies from the airports. There are too few (if any) foreigners with holiday homes in rural parts of Poland, Czech Republic etc and there is increasingly fierce competition from the new airlines.

However, there are areas of the newly expended EU that are still underserved by LCCs especially in a big country like Poland (most of Western Poland: Wroclaw, Poznan, Szczecin, Bydgoszcz) and practically all the destinations mentioned earlier by Adriaticflight so if O'Leary was to change his mind there'd still be somewhere for him to fly.


User currently offlineDoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4041 times:

I wouldn't call the CEO of one the world's most successful (financially speaking, perhaps not customer service-wise) airlines "ignorant" or anything other than "very smart".

The trouble is that too many people hang on every word O'leary says, as if he speaks from the gospel or something. Maybe he wasn't being serious? Maybe he was speaking figuratively? I think this might be the case...

There are too few (if any) foreigners with holiday homes in rural parts of Poland, Czech Republic etc

Personally, I think this has something to do with it. Although Ryanair sells cheap(er) seats by the dozen, there are PLENTY of middle-class Brits prepared to pay much higher Ryanair fares in order to gain close access to their holiday homes.

In the end, you could probably fill a plane from London to a remote site in eastern Europe but I doubt you could do the same in reverse. Neither is disposable income very high in remote parts of eastern Europe.

Many of us could easily afford to fly a LCC, but when you think about it, it is somewhat of a luxury to be able to fly off to Poland for the weekend, even by our standards.

easyJet might be luckier because it focuses on large or important cities and serves airports close to those cities. Ryanair tends to do the opposite. I think it's harder in eastern Europe for Ryanair...


User currently offlineDanny From Poland, joined Apr 2002, 3508 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4031 times:

Ryanair was in talks with some polish airports but their expectrations related to landing and other fees were unrealistic. Polish airports invested a lot of money in recent years into new runaways, ILSes, terminals etc so they can't subsidize airlines now.

Daniel


User currently offlineCargoman From Ireland, joined Jul 2004, 12 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4019 times:

You are proberbly better off without them, yes they will bring lots of pax to an area, but they will want the maximum service for the minimum price from the airport authorities.

User currently offlineTrident2e From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3982 times:

Perhaps he can't find airports far enough away from their advertised destinations!

User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1120 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3967 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

There was some talk before of Ryanair staring services to Croatia, at least during the tourist season (for example Split airport had 53 aircraft in one day, quite unimaginable, given the normal out-of-season traffic...and given the overall amount of aircraft traffic in Croatia, quite unimaginable in any season  Smile), but eventually nothing came from it. There's a huge market here - for the past 5 years, going to holidays (and some popular places at that, like Crete, Cyprus, Malta, Eire...), I had to go to Slovenia in order to go by plane to these destinations! And given the traffic jams on the borders during tourist season, it's not a really enjoyable trip. OU is way too expensive, but an LCC like Ryanair could make a fortune here. True, the facilities are not up to standards and some airports, like Split and Dubrovnik that serve popular cities, are somewhat ill-constructed, both in terms of layout, capacity and location. But if Germanwings could do it, I don't see why Ryanair couldn't. Down at the coast I see a lot of British, French, Irish, Spanish and other tourists, mostly young people, who could potentially crowd every LCC flight during the season since an international holiday is still rather expensive.


No plane, no gain.
User currently offlineConnector4you From Canada, joined May 2001, 932 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 3858 times:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Although they are not EU members yet, Romania and Bulgaria are to be joining Europe's single aviation market - European Common Aviation Area (ECAA) - this coming September.

EU is also in favor of involving Turkey in negotiations as well.

Wizz Air (Budapest, Hungary) has already expressed an interest to operate from both Romania and Bulgaria while Ryanair is eying for now only Bulgaria' s Black Sea Coast. Volare is already operating from Venice Marco Polo to Timisoara and Bucharest and most likely will start service from Milan and Rome as well.

Stay tuned to find out who else (other than Ryan) is gonna enter Romania and Bulgaria. Check my A.net profile/ home page /



PS
With all due respect I think Mr. O'Leary is dead wrong about Easterner's "disposable income".

Sorry Mike can't say more about it . . . unless somebody hires me !
 Innocent





User currently offlineAdamlaskiewicz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3801 times:

I wouldn't call the CEO of one the world's most successful (financially speaking, perhaps not customer service-wise) airlines "ignorant" or anything other than "very smart".

OK, I agree he is a very smart man (otherwise Ryanair would not be the success that it is) but when I said he was ignorant I meant that he is small-minded and doesn't know what he is talking about. He made insulting remarks about a whole region of Europe, a region that he appears to know nothing about.

I do agree though that as there are too few westerners with holiday properties in Eastern Europe this is probably why Ryanair has not started services to this area as this is the airline's bread and butter. However, people don't have to have second homes to visit a certain country. As this is, for tourists, a relatively undiscovered part of the world, there is so much year round potential without having to rely on the middle classes who travel to and from their holiday homes at the weekends.

You could probably fill a plane from London to a remote site in eastern Europe but I doubt you could do the same in reverse. Neither is disposable income very high in remote parts of eastern Europe.

Well on the whole this may be true. Westerners do have more disposable income. However, I agree with Connector4you - While there may be a sizeable group of less wealthy and even poverty-stricken people in Eastern Europe there is also an ever increasing group of people who do have cash to spend, even in rural parts. You only have to visit a country in the region to see how people live there and the cars they drive. This is why the likes of Wizzair, SkyEurope etc are not flying empty planes with only western tourist but plane loads of Eastern Europeans travelling on holiday. While I can't speak for the whole of Eastern Europe I can speak for Poland and think that the cities I mentioned earlier that are underserved by any airline (Wroclaw, Poznan, Szczecin, Bydgoszcz) could very easily generate traffic both ways. Wroclaw and Poznan have the most potential as these are large provincial capitals. As for "remote sites" then there aren't any small towns with airports that I know of, in Poland at least. Perhaps there are elsewhere, in which case perhaps there would not be sufficient traffic both ways. In any case, I think we have to remember that these ten countries only joined the EU four months ago. These are developing markets.

As for Romania and Bulgaria, excellent news. I think Ryanair will go for Bulgaria (even though it may be a little too far away perhaps) as it is quite an up-and-coming place for holiday homes.


User currently offlineGreenjet From Ireland, joined Aug 2001, 952 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3689 times:

One of the major problems in the new accession states is that a much smaller percentage of the population possess credit cards. FR want to sell all their flights online but if there's a lack of credit cards then sales will be low. The way round the problem is to use travel agents or local ticket offices but that goes against their low cost principles. EZY has had a similar problem in Greece.

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17002 posts, RR: 67
Reply 14, posted (9 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3616 times:

FR will probably not start routes in Eastern Europe until the airports start coughing up € for every pax, like most of their stations in Western Europe do.


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineWGW2707 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1197 posts, RR: 35
Reply 15, posted (9 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3617 times:

Having personally visited Gdansk last fall I have to say it's one of the most beautiful cities in the world, a tranquil, charming town with majestic architecture and one of the best beaches I've seen (better than anything in Southern California). I take extreme offense to O'Leary's remark. If only the Polish authorities could ban Ryanair.

I think in general it's fantastic that Ryanair has so far not expanded much in Eastern Europe. Hopefully they'll never get the chance to...

-WGW2707


User currently offlineMatt777 From Cayman Islands, joined Oct 2001, 503 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (9 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3608 times:

VolareWeb.com has expanded a lot to the East.
On these routes there are lot's of Italian business men that are opening factories there.
http://buy.volareweb.com/jsp/web/destinations.jsp?lang=en

Ciao.


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