Ryanair low cost airline to spread it’s wings to South America.
Long bus rides and expensive air tickets in Argentina will soon be a thing of the past if Ryanair has it’s way. The founder , Declan Ryan, has spoken to La Nación recently and said that they are looking to operate in-country flights to South America. Argentina is on the top of their list. In his own words: ”It is only a matter of time.” Ryanair is a low cost Irish airline that operates mainly in Europe and currently has a large market share. We have recently flown with them from Madrid to Warsaw and back.
Argentina has huge potential for new low cost airlines. Breaking into this market is not going to be an easy task. Aerolineas Argentinas currently controls 75 percent of the market share and I guess they will not be prepared to give up any of that readily. Irelandia Aviation (Holding company of Ryanair) is not new to Latin America and currently owns “VivaAerobus” in Mexico and “VivoColombia” in Colombia. Avianca is another low cost airline that is looking to expand their services to South America.
High cost of flying in Argentina and why low cost airlines have a foot in the door.
Flying in Argentina is expensive and there are a couple of reasons for that. The main reason is that Aerolineas Argentinas control the majority of the market and can dictate prices with little opposition. The second reason is that Aeropuertos Argentina, controls 35 of the 38 airports in the country and charge the airlines hefty amounts to be able to use them. The cost is added to the ticket price and makes flying more expensive.
The business model of Ryaniar is quite interesting. They fly to airports located a bit out of the way in exchange for lower ticket prices. In addition you pay for what you use. In other words: If you want to bring 3 suitcases on your flight, then you need to pay for that. If you want to eat something on the airplane, you need to pay extra. If you are flying from point A to B with a small suitcase then you will find that low cost airlines offer the best prices.
According to Ryan, only 5 to 7 percent of Argentines have flown and they want to triple that number to 20%. It is possible if you look at their track record in Colombia. When they started out only 2.5% of the population had flown and this number is currently standing at 10%.
When will Ryanair commence flying to Argentina?
From what we understand is that negotiations are already in an advance state. Ryanair is looking at purchasing a fleet of planes from Andes Airlines. They have also started negotiations with the Transportation Minister Guillermo Dietrich. As with everything in Argentina, there are a lot of obstacles to overcome before they will commence with business in Argentina.
How does Aerolineas Argentinas feel about the potential competition?
The feeling is that low cost airlines will infringe upon their business and take away market share. Ryan on the other hand has a different view. He feels that they have nothing to worry about because they will not be operating in the same scope. In addition he added the following: “You think that the flagship airline is like the national football team, but it’s not. The team is very efficient while 12,000 Aerolineas Argentina employees are not exactly Messi caliber.” Well, we all know that the National Football team is battling for survival.
Review of Ryanair.
As I mentioned previously we flew with Ryanair from Madrid to Warsaw and back. We did an online check-in and printed our boarding passes before the time. You have to do this a couple of days before your flight or penalties are imposed. If your luggage fit into the cabin and comply to standards, then you don’t need to check-in any luggage. Unless you have purchased additional bags.
Ryanair does have the right to check your luggage in if the airplane is too full. This is done free of charge. You have the option to purchase up to two additional bags to check-in as well as the option to select your seat. This is additional and the prices are displayed when you print your boarding pass. Visas need to be checked and boarding passes stamped before boarding.
The flight in itself was not bad. Seats do not recline and can be uncomfortable if you have a relatively long flight. Food and drinks are served on the airplane at an additional cost. We saved a lot of money by using Ryanair and highly recommend them.
Low cost airlines will be a breath of fresh air in Argentina and we are looking forward to their arrival in 2017.
I have been fortunate to have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 10 years. By heart I am an adventurer and I love exploring new places, cultures and food. Travelling can become stressful and expensive. Over the years I have learnt to travel as cost effective as possible, simply by travelling more clever. Nelmitravel.com is a Adventure and Budget Travel site where I review Airlines, Accommodation, Transport, Restaurants and give helpful travel information.