From that humble, but enterprising start ("With two routs and two planes, they carried 82 passengers in one year"), Michael O'Leary, its CEO, under whom it underwent an organisational change that took it to unbelievably dizzy heights with the following fantastic growth rate:
"Not only are there different types of change, which manifest themselves in different organisations, change also appears differently at different levels of an organisation and in its various functions," Senior (2002, p. 57).
Michael O'Leary adopted 'low fares, no frills' policy and in 10 years, Ryanair had carried 2.25 million passengers and was voted Best Managed National Airline by International Aviation Week Magazine. It launched its own website and sold tickets directly to passengers monopolising 95% of the total bookings. It can be conceptualised as Mintzberg's Entrepreneurial Organisational form. "..tends to be low in formalisation and standardisation, but high in centralisation with authority localised in a single person," Senior (p. 103).
In 2004, it recorded its first loss of 3.3 million and O'Leary warned of a 'bloodbath' out of which only 2 or 3 airlines would emerge winners, assuming Ryanair would be the first one. Now with more countries in EU, Ryanair has cut its losses and looking upwards again, with EasyJet, Air Berlin, Germanwings, Translavia as its main competitors.
It remains one of the most controversial companies, praised and criticised in equal measure for populism, challenging the 'establishment' within the airline industry, deceptive advertisements, trade union policies, and stubborn ways reflecting O'Leary personality. It is also accused of poor treatment to passengers, refusing to provide accommodation or meal vouchers when flights are cancelled, for poorly treating disabled passengers, ill treating its employees, flying into smaller airports away from the cities, for vicious attacks on opponents (Mary O'Rourke - Conflict of Organisations and Ryanair has to deal with many Governmental authorities as in Interdependence concept), offensive in-house advertising, and for its old second-hand airliners. It receives subsidies from European airports and EC believes that this is against EU competition laws.
Whatever the criticisms are, Ryanair has proved to be a management and business marvel with its never-say-die grit. Its concept can be connected with Power Pricing: "Power pricing attempts the impossible, namely to increase profit and value simultaneously," www.wirtschaft.uni- kassel.de/marketing/downloads/Interview.pdf The European Management Journal, Vol.19, No.5, pp. 472-480, October 2001.
Its strategic interaction flourishes on the perpetually alert Strategic Management, focussing on Price competition amongst low cost carriers. Ryanair is definitely not a prisoner of circumstances and has shown immense capability to rise above every hostile situation. It has to look for sometimes rude, to keep its expenses low and that could draw flak. Its main wealth is the remarkable leadership provided by O'Leary, based on Leadership qualities of Management, especially that of Directive leadership. "The