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Ryanair in Orly: chronicle of an impending disaster for Air France and Hop! ?

The chronicle of Jean-Louis Baroux, air transport expert

Ryanair has officially requested slots in Orly. The company that is currently on the wait-list should undoubtedly change the rules of the game to get what it wants. If it obtains it then it will surely be bad news for Easyjet and without a doubt a disaster for Air France and Hop… Jean-Louis Baroux, air transport expert, decodes it all.

Rédigé par Jean-Louis Baroux translated by Joséphine Foucher le Jeudi 2 Juillet 2015

Slots in Orly: we can count on Michael O’Leary’s media power to change the rules of the game. Photo DR
Slots in Orly: we can count on Michael O’Leary’s media power to change the rules of the game. Photo DR
We’re there, the Irish company has just crossed the line by officially requesting “slots” in the Orly airport in order to serve Faro and Madrid. Of course, the COHOR, which is the regularity organization of slots, indicated not having any availabilities and consequently placed Ryanair on the wait-list.

But this affair certainly won’t be put on hold and major changes could take place from now on.

First of all, we’ll take note that the major European “low cost” is seriously re-orienting its policy.

After only looking for secondary airports to which it made them pay high fees to serve them, an approach that enabled it to practice unbeatable rates, it is now progressively transforming into a hybrid company.

No doubt that it is going to strongly tackle the business clientele, the only one that can raise the mean rate of tickets.

It already announced its plan by creating aids aimed at attracting professionals travelers who are more sensitive to the rates than the frequent flyer program used by traditional companies.

This helped it become accessible in the GDS. The next step will undoubtedly be a membership to the BSP for large markets. And, of course, its operations will progressively be reoriented towards the major platforms where EasyJet became prosperous.

Will Ryanair lift the famous Bosson decree?

The first consequence will surely be to lift the famous Bosson decree that limits Orly to 250,000 movements since 1997. A decree that we never stopped denouncing for its stupidity, because managing Orly based on movements, whereas Roissy is managed based on noise quotas, ineluctably drives to the reservation of older aircrafts in Orly that are necessarily the loudest ones, which hurts the wellbeing of surrounding populations.

Thus, under the pretext of protecting them, we’re hurting them. But we can count on Michael O’Leary’s media power to change the rules of the game.

This will be great news for Orly, for Aéroports de Paris, that will progressively be able to balance the traffic between its two major platforms and thus increase its capacities, all of that without major investments, and finally for the clients, and surrounding populations, who will benefit from additional employment opportunities while living with less noise pollution.

However, this will be bad news for EasyJet who will see barge in its backyard a ferocious competitor that it could have happily lived without.

For the group Air France and HOP this will be a disaster. Until now, the Bosson decree protected the national company, it was created for that in fact. If it disappears, the protection will no longer exist, and free competition will be fair game.

And the first impacted lines will be European flights. The Iberian peninsula is already very accessible from Orly, but it will then be the turn of Italy and Continental Europe where the markets are more fruitful.

How will Air France react?

No doubt that Air France will launch a fierce rearguard action. Something we understand perfectly and we would probably do the same in the position of its directors. But come on, the Bosson decree is over 20 years old.

During this period, air transport travel has more than doubled, aircrafts make infinitely less noise, and the general economy of air transport has been shaken.

One cannot fight change forever and we can place high bets that the media blow of both Ryanair and Easyjet will suffice to change the regulation.

Assuming that Ryanair will, on its part, enter within the social ranks. Its practices, that are largely talked about in various books, are going to go against its new policy.

If it wants to attract a business clientele then it should have the same social behavior as the clients it wants to conquer. France has its constraints, and if it wants to access its market, then it must respect the rules.

Nevertheless, it would be surprising if we had to wait a long time to see the effects of Ryanair’s slot request in Orly.

Ryanair in Orly: chronicle of an impending disaster for Air France and Hop! ?
Jean-Louis Baroux, is the former president of APG (Air Promotion Group) and the creator of the CAF (Cannes Airlines Forum) which became the World Air Forum.

Air Transportation Specialist, he signed at L'Archipel Publishers ''Compagnies Aériennes: la faillite du modèle” [“Airlines: A Bankruptcy Model” – translator’s note], a book that all tourism professionals should have read.

The copyrights will be donated to charity. It can be purchased at:

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Tags : Baroux, Ryanair

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