Ryanair accelerates large-scale communication with Zello and maintains its record as Europe’s #1 airline in on-time performance
In the fast-paced airline industry, time is everything. Carrying over 14.2 million passengers on more than 83,000 monthly flights from 87 bases, Ryanair connects 240 destinations in 24 countries. As Europe’s largest airline group, Ryanair employs a team of more than 19,000 highly skilled aviation professionals delivering Europe’s top leader in on-time performance. This record of punctuality is not something Ryanair can sacrifice. With post-pandemic travel ramping up, they made a crucial decision to introduce the #1 push-to-talk communication solution, Zello.
With 36 stations to manage and thousands of team members needing to be in sync at all times, an outdated software system was not a viable solution. Ryanair employees’ biggest complaint was communication, which is a necessity for air travel coordination on all fronts. In fact, during a nine-month period, Ryanair recorded almost 100 incidents of total outages and failures using their previous system. From aircraft handling to passenger and baggage handling, Ryanair lacked a reliable communication tool to meet their flights’ usual on-time performance standards and manage their teams and passengers efficiently.
“We knew we had to have something reliable on a large scale,” Ryanair operations manager Alejandro Luque shared. They explored several local companies that claimed to offer a push-to-talk solution, but none were fully developed. “They couldn’t cover all the functions that we needed,” he added. Additionally, their previous solution actually increased their communications issues instead of solving for them.
Zello, on the other hand, was already well known, and employees were really confident in the system. “By selecting this, we knew that our workforce would easily take on this new system of technology,” said Alejandro. Ramp operator Daniel Fernandez said that Zello makes it easier for employees to connect. “I like the large, red button that I only have to press once to talk and get a response. It’s very efficient.” In a February 2023 survey, nearly 90% Ryanair employees reported that “Zello is very easy to use.”
Onboarding for such a large-scale operation might be a challenge with some communication solutions, but Alejandro’s team of three were able to implement and train all 36 stations in less than a week. The operations team also helped with the structure of the channels and the users. “It was super easy,” said Jorge Orellana. “We are managing everything centrally from Seville.
From its smallest stations with less than five or six staff members to their biggest station with more than 400, Zello manages all of the communication day in and day out for Europe’s busiest airline. “We’re very busy and we need a lot of people talking at the same time. The different channels are a very comfortable way to achieve that. It’s very configurable to how many users we have,” Jorge explained.
Mara Perez, Duty Station Manager in Seville frequently uses the message replay feature. “I like the local history feature so I can go back and replay messages if I have any doubt about what was said.” In a busy airport, employees aren’t always able to stop what they are doing to take a call so Zello’s message playback feature enables multi-tasking.
In the subsequent nine months after adopting Zello, Ryanair has experienced zero communications outages or failures. “I have to say that Zello has been fantastic. I know that definitely Zello has affected us because we don’t have any communication issues, and communication is key in our industry. So, we are really, really happy,” Alejandro said.
Ryanair has more than 1,000 Zello users and continues to grow, with plans to increase its operation by 16% over the next year. Thanks to a successful communications tool, they’re on track to maintain their ranking as Europe’s #1 on-time performance airline.