Less than a month ago, Simple Flying reported that the previous CEO of the Irish airline Ryanair, would be moving to become CEO of the Ryanair Group. Michael O’Leary named Eddie Wilson, previous Human Resources Chief at Ryanair, as the new CEO of the airline. The Ryanair Group, formally named Ryanair Holdings PLC, has a number of airlines under its belt and some interesting plans for the future, but how does it work?
What is the Ryanair Group?
Ryanair UK, Ryanair Sun (recently rebranded to ‘Buzz’), Malta Air and Lauda; these are the airlines in the Ryanair Holdings family, managed by O’Leary as of 31st August 2019. In early 2019, Ryanair changed its structure to operate as a group like the IAG under which it would have four subsidiaries.
The subsidiary airlines would still retain their current CEOs (apart from Ryanair) and their normal operations. In order to manage the group, O’Leary stepped up to own the group and it was required for all the airline CEOs to report directly to him.
Having once been just one Irish airline, Ryanair is now multiple European airlines rolled into one.
Ryanair UK is the latest of the subsidiaries to get its UK Air Operator Certificate, which was granted on 3rd January 2019 allowing the airline to begin operations for Ryanair on 12th March 2019. It was a clever move by the airline which ensures that its services are not heavily disrupted despite the outcome of the Brexit deal, due later this year.
It’s not the only airline doing this either. In fact, you may have heard that British Airways is looking to become Spanish and easyJet is looking to base itself elsewhere in Europe, all in the hope of avoiding Brexit turmoil.
As an operator, according to Planespotters, Ryanair UK has just one aircraft which was delivered in December 2018 – a Boeing 737-800 – with another four on order.
A base in Austria
Let’s take a look at Ryanair’s acquisition of Laudamotion, which happened just last year.
The group bought the Austrian low-cost airline in 2018 when it raised its shares to 75% in August 2018 (from 24.9%) and eventually acquired the final 25% in December of the same year.
Laudamotion was initially founded as an airline in 2004 called Amira Air before it was taken over by Formula 1 star Niki Lauda. Since it was acquired by Ryanair, the airline changed its name to Lauda and now flies as part of the Ryanair group to destinations in Europe.
It has 23 aircraft in its fleet, all from Airbus, and offers services in 29 countries with four European bases, according to its website.
Creating a ‘Buzz’ in Poland and Malta
Earlier this year, another of the subsidiaries, Ryanair Sun, became ‘Buzz’ and now has a fleet of 24 aircraft, all Boeing 737-800s. It has a Polish Air Operator Certificate as of 2018, also exempting it from Brexit implications, and is based in Warsaw. It now operates flights on behalf of Ryanair from Poland.
Malta Air is the low-cost subsidiary and recent start-up airline from the island of Malta and was the latest airline to be acquired by the Ryanair group, giving it a fourth European base. In July this year, Ryanair registered six of its aircraft to the airline (Boeing 737s).
There is still a bit of work to be done with this airline in terms of placing the correct livery on its aircraft but it already has scheduled routes. The Ryanair Group has charged the airline with operating the 61 routes Ryanair currently flies from the island.
With four airlines under its name, the Ryanair empire is looking strong. What do you think about the future of the group? Let us know in the comments below!