Ryanair: Flying Too Close to the Sun?
(13 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
Unlike any other European airline, Ryanair DAC had long experienced impressive growth and performance thanks to its well-designed and ruthlessly executed low-cost carrier business model. However, the limits of growth did begin to appear, at which time the company adjusted its business model with an increased emphasis on customer orientation. As a result, cracks in the business model appeared and labour issues came to the fore. While the media and industry analysts were focused on these challenges, Ryanair was undergoing a quiet digital revolution, shifting the airline’s business model toward a technology-based travel platform. With the problems in the business model and a shifting business strategy, could Ryanair achieve the ambitious growth targets it set for 2024?
This case is suitable for an advanced undergraduate- or graduate-level strategy course (e.g., business strategy, economic foundations of strategy, or global strategy). The case could also be used in courses on business model design, business model innovation, and technology strategy. The learning objectives for the case include the following:
- Identify the main characteristics of the European airline industry and its macro environment.
- Diagnose the sources of Ryanair’s superior performance and performance threats.
- Critically analyze and trace the evolution of Ryanair’s business model.
- Recognize the stages of industry evolution and the strategic innovations required of companies in mature industries.
- Examine the transformation of Ryanair from a pipeline to a platform business model.
Transportation and Warehousing
Ireland, Large, 2018
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