Reply To: Easyjet v Ryanair TV show

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There was a lot of internal speculation as to whether a few A330’s for example would be included in the fleet order.

I have no doubts EZY could fill flights to the west coast. The SSH and TLV ‘s of the network are extremely profitable for the company.

I attended a lecture from RYR management who all stated that long haul was not an if, but when……this was 5 years ago. You see there are a few problems with the LCC’s going long haul:

At the moment the longest flight at EZY is slightly over 6 hours, and that is just about the limit somebody can sit in that cabin. This just about covers the west coast only, beyond that you really are requiring extra legroom and less seats, reducing margin further….An unproven business model.

So why not buy a handful of A330’s? Logistics. As MoL states, it would need to be a different company for starters. The flexibility offered by a single fleet is astounding. All tech, crew and maintenance problems are vastly reduced. If one of your five A330’s goes tech in Orlando, it is much harder to recover the schedule compared with one of two hundred 320’s in TLV.

Competition. Virgin Atlantic for example, cannot afford to have a LCC set up operations to the west coast. They would be forced to reduce fares massively and squeeze EZY out at all costs, just as EZY is doing to Norwegian at LGW when they set up shop recently. This would prevent a decent margin on the route until someone went bust, not much point. Not easy to compete with a company like Virgin on their turf, when you only have a couple of aircraft.

Critical mass is what makes the operation in Europe so successful. Through this they can negotiate costs downwards, compete on loss making routes, and cover tech events.
You can set up a regular daily schedule, or aircraft rotation which offers the customers options, to change onto a later flight, change airport even, or if a bag is left, it will be on the next flight, spare parts or crew can be shipped around the network etc.

The charter airlines are failing currently due to these reasons, and is why Monarch is trying to switch and expand to become a scheduled carrier. A tentative introduction of a bi-weekly service to test the water isn’t an option.

As I’ve tried to explain, poorly, EZY or RYR would need to buy a LOT of longhaul aircraft and jump in the deep end to make it work, and that is just too much of a risk for a stable company that is doing so well. Why rock the boat and risk everything you’ve worked to achieve?

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