The alternative strategies that Ryanair should adopt to maintain competitiveness include the following.
Firstly, Ryanair should continue to adopt the ‘red ocean strategy’ where it steals customers from other markets segments or from other major airlines. It can do this by stealing customers from the business class segments of other airlines for its’ own airline’s leisure and business travel. If the company continues with the adoption of this strategy then it can prove that a differentiated marketing strategy is still vulnerable when it comes to competition (Morris, Schindehutte and Allen, 2005).
The number of air travel passengers keep on growing at an unpreceded pace and most of these are from a middle-low and middle-middle income groups who use these low-cost carriers like Ryanair for their travelling needs. Since its inception, Michael O’Leary has said that the no-frills services provided by the airline should reflect the culture of Ryanair and so both he and the staff was downright rude to the customers stating that those who travel on low fare and low-cost carriers can take the insults. However, in the service sector, the customer is the most important person and his or her satisfaction needs to be, guaranteed. Therefore, Ryanair needs to improve its customer relationship management by designing a better service system that can deliver air travel at a low cost, provide training facilities to staff on how to deal with customers and monitoring Ryanair’s target markets and their needs, wants and values. If the airline does this than it can respond accordingly, rather than just assuming that offering the lowest fares is the only alternative to beating its competitors. Therefore, Ryanair should implement a strong CRM policy to minimize this particular weakness and give it an edge over its other competitors (Hitt, Hoskisson and Ireland, 2011).
Ryanair has also experienced the after-effects of the rising fuel prices, staff turnover costs, personnel and equipment costs, which seem to have increased by more than twenty percent since last few years. However, Ryanair can still maintain its’ competitive edge due to its ‘flying slow’ policy which is a smart inimitable strategy for the airline. Here the airline boasts of using resources efficiently. Ryanair needs to take advantage of its economies of scale that occurs due to its’ high fleet turnover, increase of in-flight cabin crew and effective staff payment structures where the salaries and bonuses of staff depend on productivity levels and on the number of hours they remain in the air.
Another thing that Ryanair’s can to do maintain its competitiveness is to extend its’ airline’s presence on the social media and the internet. It can also focus on the business travelers to pass through the low seasons of little or no air traffic and improve their airline’s sales margin while at the same time consolidate the position of the airline in the new markets and develop itself so that it is able to cater to long-haul sector as well.
Here in the paper, we made an analysis of the viability and ability of Ryanair to overcome the economic and other obstacles and restraining forces that the airline faces to become one of the largest European low-cost carriers and/or budget airlines in the UK. The major concern for Ryanair was its low-cost strategy over differentiation however, the airline is still able to become a true budgeted European airline which offers all the basic and no-frills services to its customers including good quality and quick flights with zero delays and even with increased fuel surcharges. In the paper, we saw that it would also be beneficial for Ryanair, if it expands its markets through related and unrelated diversification and starts catering to leisure sectors and FMCGs. In short, this paper is also about the existing strategies in lace and what must Ryanair do in terms of its strategies so as to maintain a competitive edge and make sure that they are in alignment with the goals and objectives of the airline.