Ultra-Low Budget Business Travel Is A Growing Trend
A story from the Economist blog questions whether Ryanair will begin to cater specifically for corporate travellers. Tellingly, Ryanair is both Europe’s only ‘ultra-low cost airline’ and its largest airline.
It’s debatable whether the ultra-low cost and corporate ethos belong together, but it seems that battery air travel has become accepted with a sigh and a shrug by a large number of companies. 22% of Ryanair passengers are corporate travellers, according to CEO Michael O’Leary.
Is this a sign Ryanair is getting better, or a sign that we have no money? Both Easy Jet and Germanwings are perks to business travellers but as of yet Ryanair has promised them nothing special. Given its annual freight of almost eighty million people, Ryanair carries around seventeen and a half million people in suits to and from appointments per year. It’s easy to imagine a lot of smartly dressed, middle managers lying airily about which of the aeroplanes on the asphalt is theirs. After a few hours queuing they’ll be sucking in their tummies and folding up their legs.
O’Leary has previously announced his plans for standing room flights, for pay-as-you go toilets, and declared that environmentalists should be shot. At this moment in our recession the ultra-low way may simply be business reality, but it is probable that we will see Ryanair adopting some of the “sharey-carey” tactics O’Leary sees his competitors trying, in order to keep these corporate travellers flying in his airplanes, packed in like sardines with neckties.
There are plenty of these sardines out there, of course, and the other outcome is that these figures increase.
The other airlines
Ryanair’s ‘ultra-low’ personality is distinct in the industry, but there are plenty of other budget airlines. Easy Jet choose not to tell its passengers, ‘If you don’t like it, that’s your problem’. Instead it upsells as much as possible, using affiliates to market rental cars, hotels and gifts. They want the money from your pockets.
Virgin is known for its “rock and roll spirit,” as Richard Branson calls it. From Spring, Virgin will offer UK domestic flights under the name Little Red. The concept is to be more stylish than budget airlines and other ‘vanilla’ carriers. To be more of a designer brand than a supermarket own-brand.
However, its main rival won’t be Ryanair or Easy Jet, but British Airways. BA runs around fifty domestic flights in the UK. Little Red will have half as many, but hopes its superior marketing will do the trick.
Meanwhile, BA is experimenting with its long-haul in-flight entertainment. It is making attempts to get people to veg-out in their planes as much as possible, by extending the length of time people can access their movies and so on. Passengers will no longer have to wait until after take-off. From the moment they place their rumps in the seats they will be able to dive into cinema.
One billion pounds!
One way or another, all airlines want us to fly more regularly and in greater numbers. A recent CBI report says that every 1,000 passengers means around £1,000,000 for the UK economy.
Did you like this article?
- Please share it with your network, we’d really appreciate it!
- Would you like to write for Tweak Your Biz? Or sign up for our RSS?
- An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.