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Up, Up and Away. To Boldly Go. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun…….Or Not.

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Having recently returned from a holiday in Spain courtesy of Ryanair, I have to advise that whilst the flight itself was just what it said on the tin – basic, reasonably comfortable and concluded within the flight time advised, the whole outgoing experience was ruined because of the incredibly tight timescales that the company imposes upon itself.

We were due to fly out at 10.15AM on a plane which was due in a 9.45AM. We were lined up on the stairs to cross the tarmac and board the plane as it arrived from Malaga. The incoming passengers passed by us but apparently one passenger forgot his wallet and upon re-entering the plane he came into contact with those who were boarding the plane.

This created a security incident which resulted in our being asked to disembark the plane having been sat there for 30 minutes not knowing why there was a delay. We had to go to a Flight Transfer Station within the airport where we went through security with our hand luggage and were checked in again before departing some 2 hours 45 minutes late.

Whilst unfortunate I can’t help but think that the turnaround time of just 30 minutes to empty one plane and fill it again is just too tight.

Clearly however Mr O’Leary and his team have agreed that such is workable and Ryanair’s pricing policy which an ever increasing number of the travelling public approves of, is reflected in another year of increased passenger numbers. The recent demise of Monarch Airlines shows that in an increasingly competitive market, prices are key in retaining and indeed growing passenger numbers.

Just in Time ordering brings its own pressures on local suppliers and also on end users both of whom have priced their goods based upon expected delivery and receipt schedules.

We all have an idea of what we want to see when we place an order and we expect our supplier to honour what he or she has agreed to provide. I expected a 2hour 50 minute flight from Manchester to Malaga. However part of the deal was that I expected to be swimming with dolphins by 3pm local time not still 36,000 feet up risking flying with North Korean missiles.

If you feel that you need to invest in an improved supply chain, stock holding facility or enhanced production line dependent upon where you sit in the supply chain, then feel free to speak to us at South Cheshire Development Agency. We are open for loans to local businesses.

Ryanair’s prices and destination range will probably continue to drive a strong customer growth programme. Most of us are not so fortunate, so a review of what we do and how we do it might not be a bad thing. Not many of us has an Operations Director who will fall on his sword as Mr O’Leary has but at least we can take responsibility ourselves and ensure a great customer offering.