Connected from ground to sky: helping Ryanair pave the way for digital aviation
The customer and the challenge
Spread your business’ wings
Ryanair was established in 1985 and has become one of the largest international airlines. They carry out over 2,500 flights a day to help millions of passengers reach their destination worldwide. They’re one of Ireland’s most successful companies, operating from over 230 airport locations in over 40 countries around Europe and North Africa. Ryanair has always had its own ways of shaping and growing its business instead of following the standard trail blazed by the airline industry. That’s why they were looking for a telecoms partner that was uniquely equipped and ready to keep up with their pace.
Looking for a simpler way
When Ryanair decides to offer services at a new airport location, they’re usually committed to going live in weeks, which exceeds the industry-standard terms measured in months. Their on-board electronic point of sale (EPOS) devices used for in-flight sales couldn’t handle secure credit card authorisation or manage stock levels. As a result, they needed to return the EPOS units to the base sites every day before putting through the sales. If a unit got lost or damaged, Ryanair had to cover the cost of lost transactions. They knew that the right technology would also help them reduce paperwork. As the documents needed during the flights were printed out and distributed daily, pilots used to carry a heavy briefcase on board to have all the necessary information in one place.
Growing stronger together
We’ve partnered with Ryanair to provide them with a digital communications department. We’re at all their operational bases and every airport where Ryanair’s aircrafts land to fully support their sites’ unique needs and functions, no matter where they’re planning to grow their business. “Because of our sheer size, we need a partner of Vodafone’s scale and capability to provide us with the technology and connections we require. They have the ability and scale to provide solutions everywhere we fly to,” says John Hurley, Chief Technology Officer at Ryanair.
How we helped them
The sky is the limit
Our technology has enabled Ryanair to set up new locations in weeks. “We need to be able to move when we need to move, and Vodafone provides everything we need to get a location up and running,” affirms Hurley. We’ve helped Ryanair increase their fleet size and allowed them to move towards their ambitious goal of doubling their traffic to 160 million customers annually by 2024. That means that they’ll need even more bases to keep their business growing.
Say no to paperwork
We’ve designed and implemented a solution to turn the idea of paperless cockpits into reality. We’ve provided Ryanair’s pilots with 3,750 Apple iPads using a machine-to-machine solution that connects their tablets to Ryanair’s central network and syncs the required data over Vodafone’s network. Our robust system enables pilots to connect directly to a mobile network or via Wi-Fi right after landing.
Moving in-flight sales to the next level
We’ve provided Ryanair’s cabin crews with 8,000 handheld devices used for in-flight sales. This new EPOS system allows passengers to buy their rail and bus tickets or entry to tourist attractions on board, while it makes sure that the terminals automatically authorise payments after landing but before the customers leave the aircraft. Our flexible and scalable solution offers better end-user experience, reduces the risk of fraud, and leads to a saving of around €100,000 per year. We also provide managed telephony, Wi-Fi and WAN services at Ryanair’s base sites thanks to our resilient IP-VPN network.
Always there when you need us
Our partnership with Ryanair is remarkable in the European aviation industry. We can always roll out new solutions thanks to our robust and resilient network infrastructure we’ve created for Ryanair. “Every time we test Vodafone capabilities, they come out as the obvious best choice. The reasons are consistent –flexibility, scalability and its ability to negotiate a good deal on our behalf with all the network carriers,” affirms Hurley.