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Identifying the Core Competencies of European Low-Cost Airlines – An Exemplary Analysis of Ryanair

  • This paper analyses the European industry for short- and medium-haul flights and determines the core competencies of the largest operating low-cost carrier, Ryanair. It further raises the question of whether the successful low-cost business model can be applied to long-haul sectors. The industry analysis utilises Porter’s five forces model and evaluates the factors of change along the PESTLE dimensions. Additionally, a thorough analysis of Ryanair is conducted, including a SWOT analysis and an identification of the airline’s core competencies. Finally, the viability of low-cost long-haul operations is discussed by assessing key low- cost carrier success factors' transferability. The results indicate that the European airline industry is fiercely competitive and largely unattractive to operate in. Ryanair’s core competencies, which are identified within the areas of operations, procurement and management, enable the airline to, nonetheless, operate profitably. This paper also finds that low-cost long-haul routes can be successful when learnings from previous mistakes are made. As the impact of the global pandemic will continue to disrupt long-haul flight operations, it is likely to take until the recovery of travel demand and the delivery of narrow-body long-range aircraft until a successful low-cost long-haul airline erupts. Given the less severe impact on short- to medium-haul flights in Europe, the large and financially strong low-cost carriers may benefit and find themselves in a stronger position relative to full-service airlines upon recovery of travel demand.

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Author:Daniel Kulina
Advisor:Christoph Mergard
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2021
Granting Institution:Hochschule Furtwangen
Release Date:2021/02/01
Tag:Airline industry; Core competence; Low-cost carrier; Low-cost long-haul; Ryanair
Degree Program:IBM - International Business Management
Functional area:Business Strategy
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt