I have flown Ryanair and easyJet many times but never Southwest. This is something I will remedy.
|Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 9):|
I think comparing Southwest and Ryanair is not a very good one, at all.
The correct comparison should be Ryanair and Spirit. They seem to be doing the same things.
I agree. However, even Spirit, a self-proclaimed ULCC, does many things that Ryanair does not, e.g. doesn't have maximum floorspace utilisation for the operated types; has 'big front seat', effectively two cabins; overwhelmingly uses the biggest, most costly, and most congested airports (e.g. BOS
); has seat assignments; has indirect distribution (uses travel agencies, GDS', OTAs, although the cost of some of these are offset by higher fares through them); and so forth. Conversely, Spirit is better at achieving per-passenger ancillary revenue than Ryanair ($45.99 against Ryanair's $14.74) and ancillary revenue as a percentage of total revenue (35.6% against Ryanair's 22.1%).
Also, any discussion cannot exclude average one-way fares, average sector lengths, and operating result.
Per their 2011 annual reports and all rounded and all converted from average exchange rates for the year, their average one-way fares were:
Ryanair: $65 including ancillaries. (This has increased in recent years but its average is still very low.)
easyJet: $99 including ancillaries.
Spirit: $126 including ancillaries.
Clearly, Ryanair's average one-way fare - including ancillaries - is 118% lower than Southwest's and 94% lower than Spirit's. This is furthered when sector length is considered given Ryanair's is marginally longer than Southwest's:
Average sector lengths (miles):
Operating result per aircraft (to get rid of the influence of size):
Southwest: $992,837 (698 aircraft at 31st Dec 2011)
Spirit: $4,125,200 (35 aircraft)
Ryanair: $2,927,602 (221)
easyJet: $2,112,549 (204 aircraft)
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."