Friday, August 18, 2006

A modest man, who has much to be modest about

Hectic week for Ryanair – in more ways than one.

Having the government stick a knife into its business model – no hand luggage, massive pressure, because of security, on its notoriously quick turnarounds – hasn’t helped matters.

So what does Michael O’Leary and Co have to do in order to get back on track (that should probably read: take off again)?

Well, threatening to sue the government is always a sure sign that a business is rather hacked off with the situation.

But if and when the current security measures are relaxed you can bet a flight to Charleroi that the government will never admit this was because of pressure from the airline industry.

Meanwhile, with typical gusto, has this week also unveiled a marketing drive to sell one million air tickets, via its website, for £25 each way.

And who features in the press campaign [picture from the Daily Telegraph]? It’s Winston Churchill, of course, pictured in a fight-them-on-the-beaches-type pose, titled “Let’s Beat Terrorism – Keep Britain Flying!”

Consumers and the industry alike may love or hate Ryanair boss O’Leary, but his canny marketing people sure know how to create a press campaign in order to try and capture the moment.

[Not sure if they using the same ad in the Irish press!]

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

1 comment:

Henk said...

MOL may be modest, but he's also got a point. Travel choice is an economic choice, and if it becomes too much hassle people will simply travel less (by air!), 6% as the Economist points out this week (

But what also particularly galling for the online side of the industry is the total failure of the ground systems. I can do an online check in, but if I still have to queue for hours at the airport, what's the point? And that was even true before the latest security problems. I arrived at Gatwick North on Saturday 5th August duly having done my online check in, only to find the queue for the fast bag drop to snake around the building as much as the normal check-in queue. It was only the prized posession of a bit of coloured plastic from our favorite airline that prevented me from missing my flight.