Ryanair required to reduce stake in rival carrier

The UK Competition Commission (UKCC) has ordered Ryanair to reduce its stake in rival carrier Aer Lingus.

The Competition Commission found that Ryanair’s stake could “substantially lessen” competition, particularly on routes between the UK and Ireland, and subsequently requires Ryanair to reduce its stake in the rival air carrier from 29.8% to 5%.

Ryanair has stated that it will appeal the decision, with CEO Michael O’Leary saying that the report “is bizarre and manifestly wrong but also entirely expected”.

However, Aer Lingus welcomed the decision, with Chairman Colm Barrington stating that the Competition Commission’s decision should be “commended”.

Using YouGov’s social media analysis tool, SoMA, we can see that the UKCC’s decision has already had a significant impact on Twitter.

So far today 15.3% of UK Twitter users have seen a mention of Ryanair on their private feeds, up from 3.8% yesterday.

Leaving no ambiguity as to what was behind this increase in reach, SoMA shows that the most popular words found next to Ryanair so far today have been ‘lingus’, ‘aer’, ‘stake’, ‘cut’ and ‘competition’.

As well as indicating what was heard, SoMA’s uniqueness lies in its ability to offer insight into exactly what demographic groups are exposed to a brand, in this case Ryanair, at any given time.

So far today of those Twitter users that have heard about Ryanair, 63% are male, 21% are from London, 27% are aged 25-34 and 20% earn £50k+.

This story will do little to help Ryanair’s position amongst consumers.

The airline is already the second worse performing brand out of around 970 that we track on BrandIndex, only outperforming pay-day loan lender Wonga.

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Image courtesy of Getty

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