Ryanair's TV ad called 'History' is a look back at travel with Ryanair in 1985 compared to 2015.
Ryanair is Europe’s favourite airline, operating more than 1,600 daily flights from 72 bases, connecting 189 destinations in 30 countries and operating a fleet of more than 300 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Ryanair has recently announced firm orders for a further 280 new Boeing 737 aircraft, as well as options for 100 more Boeing 737 MAX 200s, which will enable Ryanair to lower fares and grow traffic from 90m this year to over 150m p.a. in 2024. Ryanair currently has a team of more than 9,500 highly skilled aviation professionals, and has an industry leading 30-year safety record.
Here is a brief history of Europe's first and largest low fares airline:
1985: Ryanair is set up by the Ryan family with a share capital of just £1, and a staff of 25. They launch their first route in July 1985 with daily flights on a 15-seater Bandeirante aircraft, operating daily from Waterford in the southeast of Ireland to London Gatwick. Ryanair's first cabin crew recruits must be less than 5ft. 2ins. tall in order to be able to operate in the tiny cabin of the aircraft. Passengers: 5,000 People (y/e): 51
1986: Ryanair obtains permission from the regulatory authorities to challenge the British Airways and Aer Lingus' high fare duopoly on the Dublin-London route. Services are launched with two (46-seater) turbo prop BAE748 aircraft. The first flights operate in May from Dublin to London Luton. The launch fare of £99 return is less than half the price of the BA/Aer Lingus lowest return fare of £209. Both British Airways and Aer Lingus slash their high prices in response to Ryanair's. Ryanair starts the first fare war in Europe. With two routes in operation, Ryanair carries 82,000 passengers in its first full year in operation. Passengers: 82,000 People (y/e): 151
1987: Ryanair acquires its first jet aircraft by leasing three BAC1-11 aircraft from the Romanian state airline, Tarom. The aircraft arrive on a full wet lease with Tarom providing all the pilots and engineers to enable Ryanair to operate the aircraft. With the arrival of these jet aircraft Ryanair increases its network with 15 scheduled routes from Dublin to Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff, and opens up new routes from Luton to Cork, Shannon, Galway, Waterford and Knock in the West of Ireland. Passengers: 322,000 People (y/e): 212
1988: Ryanair leases another three BAC 1-11 jets (6 in total) from Tarom, and leases a brand new ATR 42 turbo prop aircraft from GPA to service the smaller Irish regional airports. Ryanair launch two new routes from Dublin to Brussels (Mon-Fri) and a once weekly to Munich. Ryanair launches a business class service and a Frequent Flyer Club, neither of which prove particularly successful. Passengers: 592,000 People (y/e): 379
1989: Ryanair lease two more ATR42 turbo props (3 in total) and use these aircraft to retire the small Bandeirantes and the old 748's. The fleet now comprises 6 x BAC1-11 jets and 3 x ATR42 turbo props. Due to continuing losses the business class product is abandoned and the Frequent Flyer Club closed. Passengers: 644,000 People (y/e): 477
1990: After three years of rapid growth in aircraft, routes and intense price competition with Aer Lingus and British Airways, Ryanair accumulates £20m in losses and goes through a substantial restructuring. The Ryan family invest a further £20m. in the company, and copying the Southwest Airlines low fares model the airline is re-launched under new management as Europe's first low fares airline. Ryanair now offers the lowest fares in every market, high frequency flights, moving to a single aircraft fleet type, scrapping free drinks and expensive meals on board but reducing the lowest fares from £99 to just £59 return. Ryanair launch an Easter weekend seat sale with fares of £59 return, and such is the demand that passengers queue halfway up Dawson Street for 3 days to get these lowest ever fares. Passengers: 745,000 People (y/e): 493
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