Published On: Tue, Sep 9th, 2014

Airline Wars: Ryanair Catches Up With Easyjet

Last month, two of the United Kingdom’s most-popular discount airlines went head to head. Ryanair and Easyjet are both famous for offering low-cost airfare to people travelling in Europe. The two travel giants compete to win customers and try and make profits. August has seen record numbers of people getting away for a quick late-summer break. That fact meant that the two airlines had to fight to win passengers and fill up last-minute flights abroad. For a while, it looked as though Easyjet had a strong lead and was dominating the market. Now new figures show that the market-leaders are closer in sales than anyone could have imagined.

Plane wingThe company, Ryanair, has been the subject of much scrutiny in past years. Whilst the airline does offer cheap flights to passengers, it is famous for hidden fees and taxes that push the prices up. For example, if you book a Ryanair flight without reading the small print you could end up with huge fines for luggage fees. The airline does not include the luggage charge within the main fee total for the flight. That means that you could end up having to pay more than the original flight cost you so that you can take luggage with you on your travels. At one point, there was talk of the airline charging passengers an extra fee to use the toilet. That myth has since disappeared, but you could still get caught out. If your hand luggage is over the weight limit, you can an on-the-spot fine, which is not a great start to your travels. Despite that fact, many people still use the airline.

Easyjet also implements strategies to aid in business cost reduction. The difference is that the strategies that Easyjet uses are much more transparent than those Ryanair uses. Unlike Ryanair, Easyjet makes it clear on their website that the charges don’t include certain extras. Customers are less likely to get a nasty shock when booking with the company, as oppose to trusting in their Irish rival.

For a long time now, customers have opted for one of these two airlines when taking a last-minute vacation. The two major companies are similar in price and compete in the same market. The fact that these two companies offer much lower prices than larger airlines means that they can create a budget market. Customers are willing to sacrifice luxury when it comes to their travels, so that they can save more money for the getaway itself. The companies offer many last minute deals online, and so customers don’t need to book their travels far in advance.

Due to the economic state of the UK, experts believe that even people on high-incomes travel with budget airlines. What was once a niche market is now becoming the norm, which means that larger airlines could begin to lose out. Large commercial airlines such as British Airways and Virgin have always charged higher fares. The level of services they offer passengers are luxury when compared to the budget companies. Experts claim that the major airlines may have to lower their prices if they want to compete with discount companies.

In August 2014, Easyjet carried over 6 million passengers on external flights. Experts thought that the company was miles ahead of its rival. It now turns out that the two companies had closer figures than people would have thought. In fact, Ryanair’s figures were only just below that.  In the previous months, it had looked as though Easyjet was beginning to dominate the budget airline market. Now it seems as though the two companies will continue to fight for first place.