Business Travel iQ
Ryanair has announced that it will begin trials of WiFi. The routes on which it will be trialled are likely to be business routes.
Details of the trials are sketchy but the fact that the no-frills carrier is looking at an enhancement which many believe are an attractive 'extra' for business travellers suggests that Ryanair is increasing its focus on this market.
As with hotels, the pricing of WiFi can be tackled in different ways. It can be free or it can be free for some such as those flying "business class". It can be free for email and be charged for higher usage such as videos.
To offer it at all would be an advantage, to offer it for free for those opting for Ryanair's "business" product would certainly be attractive.
But is it enough? Ultimately business travel is driven by routes — destinations and schedules. Business travellers don't need to go to leisure destinations. Some of Ryanair's destinations are 'business' but the airport might not be the airport of choice. The disadvantage of flying to a secondary airport in terms of both time and extra ground transport costs could easily outweigh the cost advantage that the carrier has historically offered.
Ryanair is on the right track by looking at the product features which today's business travellers need but until their locations match the needs of corporate travellers they are likely to remain a secondary choice for corporates.