Ryanair: airline that is not a hotel customer

Oshkosh is winding up today and that means a bunch of young people have been inspired to pursue aviation careers, which generally means airline flying. Americans generally assume that anyone who wants to fly airliners must sacrifice home life to become a hotel-based nomad for 10-22 days per month.

[And, like military personnel stationed overseas, be guaranteed losers in any state that comes a winner-take-all custody and child support system and awarding winner status to the parent who can claim to be the “historical primary caregiver.” See Real World Divorce for how this works.]

This is not how it works for everyone!

While in Ireland, I met a Ryanair captain who’d been with the airline for 8 years. He had spent only 2 nights in hotels during that time period. How is that possible? “All trips return to the home base in the evening,” he said. “You might have two out-and-backs or one long flight and a long return.” This is not to say that one can stay in one’s original city. There are Ryanair bases all over Europe and it is the pilot’s responsibility to move to the new base city, rent an apartment, pay for the apartment, etc. This guy had been moved to Rome at one point.

How does maintenance work if the planes are this dispersed? “They have three Learjets and if there is a tech problem the mechanics rush in to wherever the plane is.”


4 thoughts on “Ryanair: airline that is not a hotel customer

  1. Watching Mentour Guy’s videos, Ryanair appears to be the premier place to work, probably subsidized with taxes. They definitely don’t require fluent english. He had to relocate to Spain, but seemed to do a lot better than the other goo tube pilots during the austerity years.

  2. Allegiant uses a similar model, with most of their flights scheduled as out-and-backs from their bases. Guys who live in base love it. It is a tough airline for “commuters”, since they schedule a lot of single-day work blocks.

  3. @lion2 Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s CEO, built the business by undercutting the heavily subsidized European national airlines, starting with Ireland’s Aer Lingus. Ryanair consistently lobbies against government subsidies. O’Leary got his start running a chain of convenience stores. When he started working for Ryanair founder Tony Ryan, he received no salary — he received a percentage of whatever profits or cost savings he made Ryan.

    If you are interested in Ireland, airlines and entrepreneurship, the O’Leary biography, A Life In Full Flight, by Alan Ruddock, is a good start.

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