Strategic Analysis of Ryanair

George-Cristian Prichinet

Student thesis: Master thesis


During the past decades, Ryanair’s strategies and continuous growth have successfully turned the company from a single route airline into the largest low cost carrier in Europe. However, Ryanair is currently facing a major disruption: Brexit. United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union has created a great wave of uncertainty that is set to also impact the airline industry. With 30% of its revenues coming from flights within and connecting the United Kingdom, Ryanair is now facing a series of decision that need to be taken in order to ensure a smooth transition after Brexit. The scope of this thesis is to provide Ryanair with a number of strategic options that could help it adapt to the impact of Brexit. In this regards, an in depth strategic analysis is conducted, with the results serving as a knowledge base for a scenario planning analysis. The scenarios developed are to present the issues Ryanair might encounter in different situations and it is on these issues that the strategic recommendations are based on. The thesis mainly consists of three main parts: Company Overview, Strategic analysis of Ryanair and Scenario planning, with the latter being the main focus of the thesis. The Company overview presents and analyzes the history of Ryanair, its corporate structure and governance, its vision and mission alongside its business model and its competitors. The Strategic analysis consists of a few separate in-depth analysis that aim at examining Ryanair’s micro and macro-environment, its competitive state, the industry it operates in and main industry indicators. Finally, in the scenario planning section, four different scenarios will be presented alongside the impact they have on Ryanair and the strategic options the company can opt for. As a result, for Ryanair, the main decisions that need to be taken are regarding: aircraft orders, distribution of the available resources, the ideal number of routes, the regions in which they need to increase or decrease the flight numbers and the amount of hedging activities the company has to undergo in order to ensure an efficient risk-cost balance. The results obtained are scenario specific, with each scenario presenting an ideal mix of the factors mentioned above.

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages92