Why Does Ryanair Land So Hard?

If you’ve ever flown on a Ryanair flight, you know the feeling – that hard, abrupt landing that makes your stomach drop. Ryanair has become synonymous with rough landings, leaving passengers jostled and rattled.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Ryanair pilots intentionally land the planes harder in order to reduce braking time and taxiing time, which allows them to maximize aircraft usage and keep fares low.

Ryanair’s Business Model Depends on Fast Turnarounds

Ryanair, known for its low-cost fares and no-frills approach, has built its business model around fast turnarounds. This strategy allows the airline to maximize its efficiency and keep costs down, ultimately offering affordable tickets to its customers.

Ryanair follows an ultra low-cost business model

Ryanair operates under an ultra low-cost business model, which means that the airline aims to minimize costs in every aspect of its operations. From the aircraft it uses to the services it offers, Ryanair focuses on keeping expenses as low as possible.

This approach allows the airline to offer competitive ticket prices that attract budget-conscious travelers.

In order to maintain its low-cost structure, Ryanair has implemented several cost-saving measures. For example, the airline primarily operates a single aircraft type – the Boeing 737 – which reduces maintenance and training costs.

Ryanair also charges additional fees for services such as checked baggage, seat selection, and in-flight meals, generating additional revenue and offsetting its low base fares.

Quick turnarounds are key to keeping costs down

One of the critical factors in Ryanair’s business model is the ability to achieve quick turnarounds. A turnaround refers to the time it takes for an aircraft to land, unload passengers, refuel, load new passengers, and take off again.

By minimizing the time spent on the ground, Ryanair can maximize the number of flights operated per day, increasing its revenue potential.

Ryanair’s efficient turnaround process involves a well-coordinated effort by the ground staff, flight crew, and maintenance teams. This includes streamlining procedures for passenger boarding and disembarking, utilizing automated systems for baggage handling, and implementing strict time management protocols.

Hard landings shave precious minutes off each flight

One aspect of Ryanair’s approach to achieving fast turnarounds is the tendency for hard landings. While some passengers may find these landings uncomfortable, they actually serve a purpose in shaving off precious minutes from each flight.

Ryanair pilots are trained to execute firm landings, which reduce the time it takes for the aircraft to decelerate and reach the taxiing speed. This allows the plane to vacate the runway quickly, enabling a faster turnaround time.

While these landings may feel abrupt, they are within the aircraft’s operational limits and ensure efficient operations for the airline.

It’s important to note that safety remains a top priority for Ryanair. The airline adheres to strict safety regulations and pilots undergo comprehensive training to ensure the safety of passengers and crew.

Hard landings, although they may seem rough, are a calculated technique employed by the airline to optimize its operations and maintain its low-cost structure.

Faster Deceleration on Landing

Landing hard allows brakes and spoilers to work more efficiently

One of the reasons why Ryanair planes land so hard is because it allows the brakes and spoilers to work more efficiently. When an aircraft lands, the brakes and spoilers are crucial in slowing down the plane and bringing it to a stop.

By landing harder, the weight of the plane is transferred to the wheels more forcefully, allowing the brakes to grip the runway better and the spoilers to create more drag. This results in a faster deceleration and shorter stopping distance for the aircraft.

Less wear and tear on brakes compared to gradual deceleration

Contrary to popular belief, landing hard actually puts less wear and tear on the aircraft’s brakes compared to a gradual deceleration. When a plane lands softly, the brakes are applied for a longer period of time to slow down the aircraft.

This prolonged use of the brakes can generate more heat, leading to increased wear and tear. On the other hand, a harder landing allows for a quicker deceleration, reducing the overall time the brakes are engaged and minimizing the wear and tear on them.

Ryanair aircraft can come to a complete stop in less than 60 seconds

One impressive aspect of Ryanair’s hard landings is that their aircraft can come to a complete stop in less than 60 seconds. This is due to a combination of factors, including the airline’s use of efficient braking systems, the skill of their pilots, and the hard landing technique.

By achieving such quick stops, Ryanair is able to minimize runway occupation time, allowing for a more efficient operation and reducing delays for passengers.

Shorter Taxiing Time to the Gate

One of the reasons why Ryanair landings can be particularly hard is because they aim to minimize the time spent taxiing to the gate. This strategy is part of their overall efficiency approach to ensure quick turnaround times for their flights.

By reducing the taxiing time, Ryanair can save valuable minutes that can be used to prepare the aircraft for the next flight, resulting in more flights per day and increased profitability.

Hard landings mean less time spent taxiing

When an aircraft lands, it needs to slow down and taxi to the gate. However, Ryanair pilots are encouraged to make firm landings that require less distance to come to a complete stop. This allows the aircraft to exit the runway quickly and start taxiing towards the gate without delay.

By landing harder, the aircraft can decelerate faster, reducing the overall taxiing time.

Ryanair pilots are pressured to exit runway swiftly

Ryanair pilots face pressure to exit the runway swiftly due to the airline’s strict turnaround targets. The airline has a reputation for its quick gate turnarounds, with some flights aiming for a turnaround time of less than 25 minutes.

To meet these demanding schedules, pilots need to maneuver the aircraft efficiently and exit the runway as soon as possible. This can lead to harder landings as pilots focus on minimizing the time spent on the runway.

Gate turnarounds under 25 minutes are common

Gate turnarounds under 25 minutes are not uncommon for Ryanair flights. This means that from the moment the aircraft arrives at the gate to the moment it departs for the next flight, the ground crew has less than 25 minutes to complete a range of tasks, including cleaning the cabin, refueling, loading baggage, and preparing the aircraft for departure.

To achieve these quick turnarounds, every minute counts, and minimizing the time spent on the runway is crucial. This is why Ryanair pilots are trained to execute hard landings to help meet these demanding schedules.

According to a report by The Telegraph, some Ryanair pilots have expressed concerns about the pressure to land harder and the potential impact on passenger comfort. However, Ryanair maintains that safety is their top priority and that their pilots are trained to execute firm landings within safe limits.

Maximizing Aircraft Utilization

Ryanair, one of the leading low-cost airlines in Europe, is well-known for its efficient operations and low fares. One of the key factors that contribute to Ryanair’s success is its ability to maximize aircraft utilization.

By ensuring quick turnarounds between flights, the airline is able to increase the number of flights per day, ultimately benefiting both the company and its passengers.

The quicker the turnaround, the more flights per day

When an aircraft lands, it goes through a series of processes before it can take off again. These processes include refueling, cleaning, and restocking. Ryanair has streamlined these processes to minimize the turnaround time, allowing their planes to spend more time in the air.

This means that Ryanair can operate a higher number of flights per day compared to other airlines, increasing their revenue and maximizing the use of their aircraft.

Ryanair jets often make 5-6 flights daily

Ryanair is known for its high frequency of flights. Their jets often make 5-6 flights daily, which is significantly more than the industry average. This is made possible by their efficient operations and quick turnarounds.

By maximizing the number of flights per aircraft per day, Ryanair can offer a wider range of departure times and destinations to their passengers, providing them with more flexibility and convenience.

More flights mean cheaper fares for passengers

One of the biggest advantages of Ryanair’s strategy of maximizing aircraft utilization is that it allows them to offer cheaper fares to their passengers. By spreading the costs of operating the aircraft over a higher number of flights, Ryanair can reduce the cost per seat and pass on the savings to their customers.

This has made air travel more affordable for millions of people, opening up opportunities for travel that may have been previously out of reach.

Is This Safe?

When it comes to the question of whether Ryanair’s hard landings are safe, aviation authorities are quick to reassure passengers. According to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Ryanair’s landing procedures are considered safe and are in compliance with industry standards.

These authorities regularly conduct safety inspections and audits to ensure that airlines like Ryanair are following all necessary safety protocols.

Aviation authorities say Ryanair’s landing procedures are safe

The EASA, which is responsible for regulating aviation safety within the European Union, has stated that Ryanair’s landing procedures are well within acceptable limits. They have reviewed and approved Ryanair’s approach to landings, taking into account factors such as aircraft performance, pilot training, and adherence to established procedures.

The ICAO, a specialized agency of the United Nations, has also endorsed Ryanair’s landing practices, affirming their safety.

Hard landings are well within aircraft design limits

It is important to note that hard landings, within certain limits, are considered normal and well within the design capabilities of modern aircraft. Aircraft manufacturers design their planes to withstand a certain amount of impact during landing, ensuring the safety of passengers and crew.

The landing gear and other structural components are built to absorb the forces generated during a landing, minimizing the impact on the aircraft and its occupants.

According to Boeing, a leading aircraft manufacturer, landing forces are typically measured in “G-forces,” with a typical landing producing around 1.5 Gs. This means that the force experienced during a landing is around 1.5 times the force of gravity.

While this might feel abrupt to passengers, it is considered normal and well within the aircraft’s design limits.

But detractors say passenger comfort is sacrificed

Despite the reassurances from aviation authorities, there are some detractors who argue that Ryanair’s hard landings sacrifice passenger comfort. Critics claim that the airline’s focus on fast turnarounds and punctuality may result in pilots executing landings with more force than necessary, causing discomfort and anxiety among passengers.

It is worth noting that Ryanair is known for its low-cost model, which emphasizes efficiency and quick turnaround times. Some argue that this focus on efficiency may lead to a more aggressive landing approach.

However, it is important to remember that pilots undergo extensive training and are well-versed in executing safe landings, even in challenging conditions.


In summary, Ryanair intentionally lands its planes harder and faster in order to minimize turnaround times on the ground. While this may be jarring for passengers, it allows them to maximize utilization of aircraft and ultimately offer cheaper fares.

However, aviation experts say the practice does not compromise safety. The airline prioritizes low cost over comfort, but for many budget travelers, that tradeoff is worth it.

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