Ryanair DAC is an Irish low-cost airline founded in 1984, headquartered in Swords, Ireland, with its primary operational bases at Dublin and London Stansted airports. It forms the largest part of the Ryanair Holdings family of airlines, has Ryanair UK, Ryanair Sun and Lauda as sister airlines. In 2016, Ryanair was the largest European budget airline by scheduled passengers flown, carried more international passengers than any other airline. Ryanair operates more than 400 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, with a single 737-700 used as a charter aircraft, but as a backup and for pilot training; the airline has been characterised by its rapid expansion, a result of the deregulation of the aviation industry in Europe in 1997 and the success of its low-cost business model. Ryanair's route network serves 37 countries in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East. Since its establishment in 1984, Ryanair has grown from a small airline, flying the short journey from Waterford to London Gatwick, into Europe's largest carrier.
Ryanair now has over 13,000 people working for the company. Most employees are contracted by multiple agencies to fly on Ryanair aircraft. Or, as is the case for pilots, the vast majority are either agency employed or self-employed, their services are contracted to Ryanair. After the growing airline went public in 1997, the money raised was used to expand the airline into a pan-European carrier. Revenues have risen from €231 million in 1998 to €1,843 million in 2003 and to €3,013 million in 2010. Net profits have increased from €48 million to €339 million over the same period. Ryanair was founded in 1984 as "Danren Enterprises" by Christopher Ryan, Liam Lonergan, Irish businessman Tony Ryan, founder of Guinness Peat Aviation; the airline was shortly thereafter renamed "Ryanair". It began operations in 1985 flying a 15-seat Embraer Bandeirante turboprop aircraft between Waterford and Gatwick Airport with the aim of breaking the duopoly on London-Ireland flights at that time held by British Airways and Aer Lingus.
In 1986, the company added a second route–flying Dublin to Luton, thus directly competing with the Aer Lingus/British Airways duopoly for the first time. Under partial EU deregulation, airlines could begin new international intra-EU services, as long as one of the two governments gave approval; the Irish government at the time refused its approval to protect Aer Lingus, but Britain–under Margaret Thatcher's deregulating Conservative government–approved the service. With two routes and two planes, the fledgling airline carried 82K passengers in one year. In 1986, the directors of Ryanair took an 85% stake in London European Airways. From 1987, this provided a connection with the Luton Ryanair service onward to Amsterdam and Brussels. In 1987, Ryan hired Michael O'Leary as his personal financial and tax advisor. In 1988, London European operated as Ryanair Europe and began to operate charter services. Ryanair passenger numbers continued to increase, but the airline ran at a loss and, by 1991, was in need of restructuring, including the closure of Ryanair Europe/London European.
O´Leary was charged with the task of making the airline profitable. O'Leary decided that the keys to profitability were low fares, quick turn-around times for aircraft, "no frills", no business class, operating a single model of aircraft. In 1989, a Short Sandringham was operated with Ryanair sponsorship titles but never flew revenue-generating services for the airline. O'Leary returned from a visit to U. S. Southwest Airlines convinced that Ryanair could make huge inroads into the European air market, at that time dominated by national carriers, which were subsidised to various degrees by their parent countries, he competed with the major airlines by providing a "no-frills", low-cost service. Flights were scheduled into regional airports, which offered lower landing and handling charges than larger established international airports. O'Leary as Chief Executive took part in a publicity stunt where he helped out with baggage handling on Ryanair flights at Dublin Airport. By 1995, after the consistent pursuit of its low-cost business model, Ryanair celebrated its 10th birthday by carrying 2.25 million passengers.
In 1992, the European Union's deregulation of the air industry in Europe gave carriers from one EU country the right to operate scheduled services between other EU states and represented a major opportunity for Ryanair. After a successful flotation on the Dublin Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ Stock exchanges, the airline launched services to Stockholm, Sandefjord Airport, Beauvais–Tillé and Charleroi near Brussels. In 1998, flush with new capital, the airline placed a massive US$2 billion order for 45 new Boeing 737-800 series aircraft; the airline launched its website in 2000, with online booking said to be a small and unimportant part of the software supporting the site. The online booking contributed to the aim of cutting flight prices by selling directly to passengers and excluding the costs imposed by travel agents. Within a year, the website was handling three-quarters of all bookings. Ryanair launched a new base of operation in Charleroi Airport in 2001; that year, the airline ordered 155 new 737-800 aircraft from Boeing at what was believed to be a substantial discount, to be delivered over eight years from 2002 to 2010.
100 of these aircraft had been delivered by the end of 2005, although there were slight delays in late 2005 caused by production disruptions arising from a Boeing machinists' strike. In April 2003, Ryanair acquired its ailing competitor Buzz from KLM. During 2004, Michael O'Leary warne
London Luton Airport called Luton International Airport, is an international airport located 1.5 miles east of Luton town centre in the county of Bedfordshire, is 28 miles north of Central London. In 2018, over 16.5 million passengers passed through the airport, a record total for Luton making it the fifth busiest airport in the UK. It is the fourth-largest airport serving the London area after Heathrow and Stansted, is one of London's six international airports along with London City and Southend; the airport serves as a base for EasyJet, TUI Airways and Wizz Air and served as a base for Monarch Airlines until it ceased operations in October 2017. The vast majority of the routes served are within Europe, although there are some charter and scheduled routes to destinations in Northern Africa and Asia; the airport is two miles from Junction 10 of the M1 motorway. Aside from Heathrow, London Luton Airport has the fastest rail connection from Central London at 22 minutes from St Pancras station, via East Midlands Trains, however passengers are transported to the terminal by shuttle-bus from Luton Airport Parkway railway station.
An airport was opened on the site on 16 July 1938 by the Secretary of State for Kingsley Wood. During World War II, it was a base for Royal Air Force fighters. Situated where the valley of the River Lea cuts its way through the north-east end of the Chiltern Hills, the airport occupies a hill-top location, with a 40 m drop-off at the western end of the runwayFollowing World War II, the land was returned to the local council which continued activity at the airport as a commercial operation. Percival Aircraft had its factory at the airport until the early 1960s. From the mid-1960s, executive aircraft have been based at the airport operated by McAlpine Aviation; these activities have grown and several executive jet operators and maintenance companies are now based at the airport, handling aircraft from all over the world. It became the operating base for charter airlines such as Autair and Dan-Air. In 1972, Luton Airport was the most profitable airport in the country, it suffered a severe setback in August 1974 when major package holiday operator Clarksons and its in-house airline Court Line were liquidated.
In the 1980s the airport was seeing a decline in customer numbers. The council responded to lobbying and focused again on developing the airport, first by operating the airport at arms length via an independent management team; as a result, necessary infrastructure work was undertaken. The next 15 years saw a process of updating, including the opening of a new international terminal, an automated baggage handling facility, a new control tower with updated air traffic control systems, a new cargo centre and runway upgrades; the original runways had been grass tracks 18/36 and 06/24, a concrete runway 08/26. By the end of the 80s, there was only one runway, 08/26; the 18/36 grass runway had disappeared under a landfill, while 06/24 had become a taxiway. To remain a viable airport it was necessary to update airfield services, achieve CAT3 status; this meant updating ILS. The hump was removed by building up layers at the end of the runway. During the course of this work, the airport would re-open for flights during the day.
While developing the basic infrastructure, various business partners were courted and business models were considered. The process envisaged a cargo centre, an airport railway station, people mover from station to airport terminal. In 1990, the airport was renamed London Luton Airport to re-emphasise the airport's proximity to the UK capital. In 1991, another setback occurred when Ryanair, which had flown from the airport to Ireland for a number of years, transferred its London operating base to Stansted. In the 1990s, MyTravel Group began charter flights from the airport, using the Airtours brand and new low-cost scheduled flights from Debonair and EasyJet, the latter making Luton its base. In August 1997, to fund an £80 million extension of the airport, the council issued a 30-year concession contract to a public-private partnership consortium, London Luton Airport Operations Limited, a partnership of Airport Group International and Barclays Private Equity. AGI was a specialist airport development company once owned by Lockheed Martin.
In 1999 AGI was sold to TBI plc and in 2001 Barclays sold its shares in Luton to TBI plc. The main feature of the development phase in 1998 was a £40 million terminal made from aluminium and glass, based on an original design by Foster + Partners; the new terminal, opened in November 1999 by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, houses 60 check-in desks and flight information systems and a wide range of shops and bars. In September 2004, a 9,000 sq ft area featuring a spectacular vaulted ceiling was completed with the new terminal, but intended to lie unused until required. On 1 July 2005, the new departure hall opened on schedule, featuring a boarding pier extending 200 m out between the airport's north and east apr