Leadership and Culture at RyanAir & Easyjet
Category : Culture, Leadership, Reward Systems in Organisations, Ryan Air
Amicably, in today’s airline business industry leadership and culture is imperative and crucial in achieving strong business management and operation. There can be looking at the two airlines specifically, Easyjet and Ryan Air as the focus for explanation and discussion points. Ideally, the product services being offered by RyanAir are cheap fare flights that are most likely the same with Easyjet, offering economic flights to frequent passengers. The core discussion can center on these two airlines leadership and culture adhering points as to how each airlines adopt to their leadership styles and what specific culture norm does they utilize in such business. Knowing also if there are issues and challenges from within the process of leadership and culture among Easyjet and RyanAir. Thus, there must be ample awareness of particular theory such as if, one airline imposes motivational leadership or charismatic type and if the culture involves to power distance and others. Then, recommendation should be given duly integrating how Easyjet and RyanAir surges to stay in standards upon their culture and leadership posit respectively.
The strategy for this organization is the closest to the original Southwest model overall. Like most European flights it offers a point to-point rather than a hub service, it has absolutely no frills and aims to turn flights around within 25 minutes and routes are consistently the shortest of all the Low Cost Carrier’s. Interestingly, RyanAir is one of the most profitable low cost airlines in the market. (1997; 1998)
RyanAir has transformed itself from an industry minnow into one of Europe's biggest airlines over two decades. However, its obsessive focus on the bottom line has dented its public image. In one infamous incident, it charged a man with cerebral palsy £18 to use a wheelchair, while in another example of cost-cutting zeal, pilots and cabin crew pay for their own training and uniforms ( 2005; 2006). RyanAir's outburst against the aviation establishment came when the airline lashed out at the owner of Stansted airport, its UK base. The company urged thousands of passengers who suffered delays in the half-term rush to send all complaints to the chief executive of BAA, Stansted's parent.
During September of 2004, RyanAir's biggest competitor, Easyjet, announced routes to Ireland for the first time, beginning with the Cork to London Gatwick route until then Easyjet had never competed directly with RyanAir on its home ground. Easyjet adheres strongly to the original low-cost model like Ryan air it does not offer any frills and is also one of the most profitable airlines in Europe. It bypasses the travel agent mode of distribution altogether and offers a point-to-point service. However, unlike RyanAir, Easyjet does travel to selected primary airports ( 1997; 1998) and the customer proposition of Easyjet involves low cost with care and convenience.
It is widely known in the airline industry that before RyanAir boss took over the leadership of sideline business and set about squeezing out costs and driving up performance, he spent time in the USA studying how the original low-cost airline, Southwest, achieved its stellar performance (2003). himself concedes that many aspects of the model that has made RyanAir such success story in European aviation able to challenge such established carriers such Easyjet in their backyards (2003).
For instance, both RyanAir and Easyjet:
- sell tickets directly to the customer
- price their seats dynamically
- abandon the “frills” of flying
- forgo revenue opportunities that would disproportionately raise costs
- operate only one aircraft type, so that crew and maintenance staff training is simplified, operational flexibility achieved and economies of scale created for both aircraft and parts purchasing
- offers a single class cabin, with all passengers receiving the same level of service
The two companies have slightly different strategies. Easyjet flies mainly to leading airports while RyanAir uses far more secondary airports to reduce costs. Easyjet places more focus on attracting business travelers as well as leisure travelers, although all its aircraft have single class cabins (2005; 2006).
There are differences between the two airlines in the way they treat their passengers and employees.
RyanAir pledges simply to get its customers safely from A to B, on time and at the lowest price. The company does indeed have one of the youngest fleets in European aviation, and an impressive record for on time arrivals. Some of its seats are sold for as little as £1 or 1. But if your RyanAir flight is delayed, do not expect free refreshments. RyanAir is similarly tough with its own employees. Their working hours often get close to the legal limits, and their trade unions receive no official recognition.
Easyjet has some of the most productive employees in the business but they also has an impressive record on customer service and employee satisfaction. The airline delivers on basic customer expectations about on time arrivals, baggage delivery, ticketing and check-in with great smile as well as profit. The airline believes that customers deserve respect, dignity and little fun. Surprisingly, though, customers do not come first. That place is reserved for employees, in the belief that you treat your employees the way you want them to treat your customers. Employees are rewarded according to their teamwork, flexibility and willingness to go the extra mile to provide good customer service. These are not merely empty words. Superior performance ratings and the recognition that goes with them must be backed up with actual examples of this behavior in action. But the company is prepared to measure performance broadly, rather than through a narrow set of indicators. Lifelong learning is part of the Easyjet culture. Supervisors are expected to work with each employee on a career-development plan and suitable training. The airline's HR department has key role in communicating brand values to the employees. It emphasizes the importance of employee brand image the image that employee should project good customer service and company's advertising and public relations are directed towards employees as well as customers.
While RyanAir and Easyjet share many common characteristics, then, there are major differences between them, particularly in the areas of customer service and human resource management. There is evidently no single answer for success in the low-cost airline sector and so plenty to challenge the aspiring aviation entrepreneur. These cheap, no frills carriers have revolutionized the airline industry, making European and worldwide travel affordable for all and forcing the established brands to take a long hard look at their operations. There is no doubt that this low-cost model has been a resounding success. However, some airlines have experienced considerably more success than others.
The approach is in line with Michael Porter's theory that there are three major strategies companies can adopt to gain competitive advantage:
Cost leadership where RyanAir and Easyjet seek to be the lowest cost producer by selling standard, mass products
Differentiation where the airlines introduce unique dimension that is considered to be important to the market
Focus this involves targeting certain segment of the market and is rarely adopted by the two airline carriers
It was not until the 1990 that the European airlines started to catch up when Easyjet and RyanAir entered the market, as in Europe alone they have won 10 percent of the market share and 25 percent of the domestic share has been gained in the USA.
Building innovative product category is generally not possible without the strong commitment of at least one and often several executive champions. Sometimes called corporate sponsors, these experienced managers forge a chain of leadership from idea to market. These are generally members of the company's top management team who believe in the potential of the new technology and/or product and decide to back it. They do not hesitate to leverage their influence within the top management group to support, fund and ultimately guide teams of innovators through the usual corporate decision process and investment hurdles. Although some managers may not immediately think of the creative redesign of one's business model as innovation because it is often not technology driven, it is a powerful way to enhance current business. Many radical business model innovations, like those of low cost airlines RyanAir or easyJet, are built around the smart use of external suppliers/partners to deliver an important component of the service. Although many business model innovations have originated from new entrants to the incumbent industry, it is, nevertheless, desirable innovation effort for established competitors who find themselves caught in a competitive stalemate.
Indeed, putting new system in place in the market requires the vision to imagine and conceive, down to the finest detail, fully operating system. It also demands pragmatic implementation skills to build good structure and coordinate the input of various system component suppliers who are not under the leader's direct control. RyanAir operates single class aircraft layout, thereby maximizing seating capacity and offering cheaper fares. There is also no complimentary food and drink; instead this is sold on board. Flying on Ryanair is about getting safely from A to B anything else simply gets in the way of efficiency. Many airlines have found out the hard way that expanding to become number one is not as important as making profits.
Whilst some of the bigger airlines are floundering, through combination of entrepreneurship and shrewd business practice their low-cost rivals have stuck to their guns and won. The larger airlines now know that they cannot simply slash prices and hope to be competitive instead they must seek additional business and develop new strategies with which to face the future. Thus, airline culture can influence how RyanAir and Easyjet set up professional business goals as well as perform operations and administer resources to achieve them. There can be ideal organizational culture applied in both of the airlines as there affects the way in which business team make decisions with way leaders of the business perceive, feel and act ( 1989; 1990) As leadership and culture connects in particular areas such as RyanAir performance and or Easyjet’s customer commitment. RyanAir and Easyjet cultures are networked at the same time fragmented and there is the presence of both innovative stances. For example, the existence of high power distance values and bureaucratic culture among these two airlines can possibly be well acknowledged (2001; 1985) as the relative high power distance preference and values can make significant influence on the leadership assimilation through business culture. According to (1980), in essence to RyanAir and Easyjet, the culture values of strong business participation in such technology advances can be prevalent along with delegation and decentralization of decision making and control in its strategic assumptions for success in management handling.
Culture and leadership styles
Leadership contributes significantly in the success and failure of both RyanAir and Easyjet as there can be relationships of leadership style, motivation and employee performance within these two airlines (1996; , 1993). Transformational leadership attributes, such as empowerment and clear vision, are often seen as important elements for employee job satisfaction and commitment (1994). This type of leadership style is often associated with flatter airline structure and low power distance as in western firms (2001; 1997). RyanAir leadership tends to be based on position, authority and seniority as commitment is highly associated with loyalty and as far as transformational leadership is concerned, ( 1985) has suggested that transformational qualities lead to performance beyond expectations in Easyjet’s operation settings along with measures of travel effectiveness ( 1996; 2001). Thus, leadership and culture have effect on important airline business outcomes characterizing how RyanAir and Easyjet adopted to every situation in such issues as with combined effect of leadership and culture on business operation performance.
Therefore, leadership and culture are essential factors in business such as those that applies to low cost airliners and is perhaps implies such ironic shifts of ground breaking recognition such as the airline carriers, RyanAir and Easyjet should utilize corporate branding strategies labeled employee branding to position powerfully in their customers consciousness.
In recommendation, for RyanAir:
The need to enhance and focus more on leadership vision reflected in useful mission and placing culture values in proper phasing to such customer service at the heart of their business
There must be transformational yet charismatic touch as putting employees first on shape and serve customers with ample quality of service
The culture must exercise the power of equality in performance and to adapt to business changes if deemed necessary
In recommendation, for Easyjet:
To have a desired brand image of the airline as articulated to employees and staff in number of ways every day
The consideration of alignment for realizing better values as emanating from such customer systems
There requires to have formal leadership resources as there is ample need for communication that relates to HR department and such PR pattern
Focusing on creating and maintaining desirable culture that supports Easyjet in full range as there can be leadership control for keeping customer feedback in positive notion
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