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The REAL Ryanair history
Ryanair was founded in 1985 by Christy Ryan (after whom the company is named), Liam Lonergan (owner of an Irish tour operator named Club Travel), and noted Irish businessman Tony Ryan, founder of Guinness Peat Aviation and father of Cathal Ryan and Declan.  The airline began with a 15-seat Embraer Bandeirante turboprop aircraft flying between Waterford and London Gatwick with the aim of breaking the duopoly on London-Ireland flights at that time held by British Airways and Aer Lingus.
In 1986 the company added a second route – flying Dublin-London Luton in direct competition to the Aer Lingus / BA duopoly for the first time. Under partial EU Deregulation, airlines could begin new international intra-EU services as long as at least one of the two governments gave approval (the so-called "double-disapproval" regime). The Irish government at the time refused its approval in order to protect Aer Lingus, but Britain, under Margaret Thatcher's pro-free-market Conservative government, approved the service. With two routes and two planes, the fledgling airline carried 82,000 passengers in one year.
Passenger numbers continued to increase, but the airline generally ran at a loss, and by 1991 was in need of restructuring. Michael O'Leary was charged with the task of making the airline profitable. Ryan encouraged him to visit the USA to study the 'low fares/no frills' model being used by Southwest Airlines. O'Leary quickly decided that the key to low fares was to implement quick turn-around times for aircraft, "no frills", and no business class, as well as operating a single model of aircraft.
O'Leary returned, convinced that Ryanair could make huge inroads into the European air market, at that time dominated by national carriers which were subsidised to various degrees by their parent countries. He competed with the major airlines by providing a "no-frills", low-cost service. Flights were scheduled into regional airports, which offered lower landing and handling charges than larger established international airports. O'Leary as Chief Executive did a publicity stunt where he helped out with baggage handling on Ryanair flights at Dublin airport. By 1995, after the consistent pursuit of its low-cost business model, Ryanair celebrated its 10th birthday by carrying 2.25 million passengers.
During the 90s
European Union's (EU) deregulation of the air industry in Europe in 1992 gave carriers from one EU country the right to operate scheduled services between other EU states, and represented a major opportunity for Ryanair. After a successful floatation on the Dublin Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ Stock exchanges, the airline launched services to Stockholm, Oslo (Sandefjord Airport, Torp, 110 km south of Oslo), Paris and Charleroi near Brussels. Flush with new capital, the airline placed a massive $2 billion order for 45 new Boeing 737-800 series aircraft in 1998.
Entering the 21st century
The airline launched its website in 2000, with online booking initially said to be a small and unimportant part of the software supporting the site. Increasingly the online booking contributed to the aim of cutting flight prices by selling direct to passengers and excluding the costs imposed by travel agents. Within a year the website was handling three-quarters of all bookings, and now accounts for 100% of the total.
Ryanair launched a new hub of operation in Brussels South Charleroi Airport in 2001. Later that year, the airline ordered 155 new Boeing 737-800 series aircraft from Boeing at what was believed to be a substantial discount, (taking full advantage of the downturn in aeroplane orders after the slump in air travel following the September 2001 aircraft attacks in the United States) to be delivered over eight years from 2002 to 2010. Approximately 100 of these aircraft had been delivered by the end of 2005, although there were slight delays in late 2005 caused by production disruptions arising from a Boeing machinists' strike.In 2002, Ryanair launched 26 new routes and established a hub in Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, its European expansion firmly on track.In 2003, Ryanair announced the order of a further 100 new Boeing 737-800 series aircraft, and in February a third continental base was opened at Milan-Bergamo in Italy. During the period of 2000-2008 airline growed very fast by opening new routes and buying a lot of new planes.
Today Ryanair is the biggest low-cost carrier in Europe. It operates 729 routes across Europe and North Africa from 29 bases.Ryanair is the third largest airline in Europe in terms of passenger numbers and the world's largest in terms of international passenger numbers.