Case Study

Ryanair: A comparison with Southwest Airlines

4 pages
April 2008
Reference: IMD-3-1995

This case series traces Ryanair’s history from its modest beginning in 1985 up to its leading market position in 2007. The company’s turning point came when Michael O’Leary became CEO in 1991 and went to America to study the successful Southwest Airlines model of low fares. Upon his return, he restructured Ryanair, creating Europe’s first low-cost carrier, and successfully competed with the subsidized national carriers dominating the market. The case compares his approach to that of Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines.

Learning Objective

The case leads to a discussion of two contrasting styles of dealing with stakeholders.

Business Model, Airline
Europe, United States of America
Ryanair, Southwest Airlines
Published Sources
© 2008
Available Languages
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