A Look At Ryanair’s Subsidiaries – What Other Airlines Does Ryanair Operate?

Did you know that Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair owns other airlines? Today, we thought we would look at the Dublin-based airline’s subsidiaries and see how they help make up the Ryanair Group. Love them or hate them, there is no denying that after taking inspiration from Southwest Airlines’ business model, Ryanair is now a powerhouse when it comes to European travel.

Ryanair owns several other airlines that you probably did not know about. Photo. Getty Images

Along its path to phenomenal growth, the all-Boeing-737 airline has picked up several subsidiaries that we will look at in more detail. In April 2003, Ryanair acquired a low-cost airline called Buzz, which KLM had set up to provide direct competition with Irelands Ryanair and United Kingdom low-cost carrier easyJet. Operating primarily on point-to-point business routes rather than leisure destinations, Buzz had several slots that Ryanair wanted.

Buzz Stansted

When Ryanair purchased Buzz for around €20 million, the no-frills airline got the coveted slots at London Stansted Airport (STN) slots that it was after. Ryanair rebranded the airline Buzz Stansted to save money and continued flying its old KLM routes until ceasing operations on October 31, 2004. Over the next decade, Ryanair continued to grow and had several bids to acquire Irish national flag carrier Aer Lingus rejected.

Ryanair Sun

By the time 2018 rolled around, Ryanair decided to abandon operating under a single Operators Certificate and looked to register aircraft in other countries. The first non-Irish registered aircraft belonged to a Polish subsidiary called Ryanair Sun. The new airline’s objective was to provide Eastern Europeans with direct flights to summer Mediterranean holiday destinations.

The only way you could recognize a Polish Ryanair Sun aircraft was by its Polish registration number. In 2019 Ryanair decided to rebrand its Polish subsidiary as Buzz, reusing the old KLM name.


Also, in 2018 Ryanair increased its overseas interest by buying Vienna-based Laudamotion, which it went on to later renamed Lauda. Originally the brainchild of former Formula One driver Niki Lauda, the airline folded along with its parent company Air Berlin in 2017.

Following Ryanair’s takeover, Laudamotion was plagued with employee relations problems with staff arguing that Ryanair had to respect Austrian labor laws and not Irish ones.

Lauda Airbus planes are being re-registered in Malta. Photo: Marvin Mutz via Wikipedia

According to the Aviation website, Planespotters.net Laudamotion currently has seven Airbus A320-200s with an average age of 13.8 years. All the aircraft are presently parked as Ryanair decides to re-register them in Malta and become a part of a new airline called Lauda Europe.

Malta Air

In June of 2019, Ryanair announced that it would establish a new airline on the Mediterranean island called Malta Air together with the Maltese government.

Malta Air
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary signs a deal with the Maltese Government. Photo: Ryanair

Initially, the fleet would comprise ten aircraft that would fly Ryanair’s current schedule out of Malta International Airport (MLA). Ryanair has also built a new repair and maintenance hangar on what was once RAF Luqa.

Ryanair UK

Ryanair UK was established by the Ryanair Group and commenced operations from Stansted Airport in 2019 with one aircraft. The UK registered airline was set up as a precaution should the United Kingdom leave the European Union without a formal agreement (Hard Brexit).

While we might all complain about Ryanair and its policies, we all love the low-priced tickets.

How do you feel about Ryanair? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments.