Strategic Analysis of Ryanair

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1 INTRODUCTION The aim of this report is to carry out a strategic analysis of Ryanair. This will involve investigating the organisation’s external environment, to identify opportunities and threats it might face, and its strategic capability, to isolate key strengths and any weaknesses that need dealing with. Finally, a SWOT analysis will be carried out to assess the extent to which Ryanair’s strategies are suitable to what is happening in its task environment. Ryanair is Europe’s largest low-fares, no-frills short-haul carrier. The organisation was founded in 1985 as a conventional airline but re-launched itself in 1990/1991 as a low-cost carrier, replicating American Southwest Airlines’ business model. Since then Ryanair has grown substantially and successfully. The company currently has 146 routes to 84 destinations in 16 countries, and carries more than 15 million customers annually. Ryanair aims to be Europe’s largest airline in 8 years (www.ryanair.com). 2 ANALYSIS OF THE EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT This is a crucial part of a strategic analysis because ‘…organisations do not exist in a vacuum, they are part of a complex world’ (Bowman 1987:61) and many factors can influence operations, beneficially and unfavourably. However, these can be difficult to comprehend due to their complexity, diversity and fast changing nature. Necessarily a number of techniques have been developed to facilitate the process and to ‘…contribute to answering the key managerial question…’of what ‘…opportunities and threats might arise in the future’ (Johnson & Scholes 2002:99). 2.1 PESTEL analysis This identifies the main micro-environmental influences by classifying them into six groups: Political, Economical, Sociocultural, Technological, Environmental and Legal. By applying this framework to Ryanair it is possible to summarise the key forces in the general environment (see appendix A) likely to present opportunities and threats to the organisation (Johnson & Scholes 2002). Political · ‘Saturday May 1 will mark one of the most important days in recent European history’ (http://europa.eu.int). The continent will see the biggest expansion of EU to date when ten states become new members. For Ryanair new markets will open which suits its growth plans (www.ryanair.com). · Stansted airport, owned by BAA, is one of the most rapidly growing airports i... ... middle of paper ... ...al Times Gow, D. (16/02/04)’Ryanair plans zero frills and fares’, The Guardian Hotten, R. (13/03/04) ‘No-frills deal has impact on bmi’, The Times Insley, J. (18/01/04) ‘Happy New Year for second homes’, The Observer Insley, J. (08/02/04) ‘You can make it if you try’, The Observer Newman, C. (03/12/03) ‘Travellers face big rise in air passenger levy’, The Financial Times Pratley, N. (05/02/04) ‘Clipped Wings’, The Guardian Tait, N. (03/12/03) ‘Ryanair in court over wheelchair fee’, The Financial Times Tran, M. (03/02/04) ‘Ryanair’s airport subsidies’, The Guardian Wright, R. (01/12/03) ‘BA threat to sue if Stanstead gets runway’, The Financial Times PESTEL ANALYSIS APPENDIX A Political · The expansion of the European Union (EU)· BAA’s proposed Stanstead expansion· CAA’s new regulations on airport charges Economical· High oil prices Sociocultural· Increasing second-home ownership· Europe’s increasingly ageing population Technological· New satellite technology Environmental· The Global emissions-trading scheme Legal · The European Court of Justice ruling
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