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Competitive Forces
There is huge competition in the aviation sector in general and the Dublin-London route in particular. British Airlines, Aer Lingus & other major airlines are already established players on this route. Also, Aviation industry being a low barrier industry in the past, as many as 23 new airlines could enter the market between 1978-1980. Apart from intra-sector competition, inter-sector competition is also prevalent. There is tough competition from Railways and Ferries which though take a longer time, but are relatively cheap, & thus over three quarters of a million commuters prefer these more economical modes of transport than the airlines. There are some external factors too which contribute to fluctuation in demands & hence changes in competitive scenarios. For example, cost of Fuel is one major factor in deciding the cost of an Airline ticket. The ability of an Airline to resist hike in prices can make it a strong competitive force.

Identifying Competitors
The major airline competitions that Ryanair has are British Airways and Aer Lingus apart from the numerous small start-up companies.

Analysing Competitors

Both British Airways and Aer Lingus seem to carry the same strategy of expanding the capacity of the aircraft, thus saving on fuel consumption. They offered free meals and other amenities to the passengers. British Airways being a major state owned international player is running for profit and increase in volume of the market share. Its major strengths are huge size of the organization, backing of the state, a good history, reputation in the marketplace & most importantly, expertise of working in the aviation sector for so long. Also since it is the flagship carrier it is a big competitor which plays by the rules of industry & has the Governments backing behind them. Their weaknesses are inefficiency and unions of workers. British Airways is thus a strong competitor which is the main competitor for Ryanair. The customer base of British Airways is valuable and yet vulnerable and hence can be targeted by Ryanair.

Opportunities for Ryanair

These are the various opportunities available for Ryanair in the aviation sector: Targeting the large number of commuters using Railways & Ferrys for their travel. Providing high-end services at competetive rates. Providing Pick-up & Drop facilities for the passengers convenience. Most of the big players in the industry have aircrafts running for a very long time & hence have plenty of maintenance issues and are facing capital cost to replace some of the aircrafts. Adopting a single fare approach with no hidden costs & providing the customers with all the facilities with no restrictions.

Ryanairs Strategy
Ryanair needs to attack British Airways using Flank attack strategy. This strategy will help Ryanair to gain by attacking those areas in which British Airways seems to be underperforming. In this case it is the customer service area. Providing all the basic as well as luxurious facilities in one singlefare approach should be done considering British Airways charges differently for different types of tickets. Thus Ryanair should aim to be a Customercentred company in the sense that it provides better services at low prices. As Ryanair is starting off with 44-seater aircrafts, they can effectively try on providing facilities which can differentiate it from the competitors. Also as they will be using Londons secondary Airport for their operations, they should provide cab facilities for their passengers for their convenience & thus try to build up a loyal customer base.