Vodafone lands major ICT deal to connect 189 Ryanair locations across Europe

19 Feb 2015

Ryanair has selected Vodafone Ireland to deploy 95pc of the airline’s telecoms, machine to machine (M2M) and communications at 189 European locations. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

As part of the deal, Vodafone will support ticketing, check-in, ground crews, in-flight crews and pilots with telephony, fixed line and mobile 3G and 4G functionality across Ryanair’s 189 locations in Europe and North Africa.

“Over the last 30 years, Ryanair has revolutionised and democratised air travel for European citizens, growing to become Europe’s largest airline with the widest route network, connecting 189 destinations in 30 countries, through more than 1,600 routes – and all at the lowest fares,” said CTO John Hurley.

“As part of our ‘Always Getting Better’ improvement programme, we’re continuing to enhance the Ryanair experience for our 90m customers annually. This partnership with Vodafone will provide us with the technical support to allow us to make these improvements quickly and seamlessly, including the introduction of paperless cockpits and a swifter inflight sales system.”

Electronic flight bag

Part of the initiative is the introduction of the electronic flight bag to 3,500 pilots that will remove paper from the cockpit which is fundamental to Ryanair’s strategy. 

Last year Rynair announced 200 new digital jobs at its north Dublin headquarters.

Vodafone will also support the on-board electronic point of sale (EPOS) devices used for in-flight credit card sales.

From April 2015, Ryanair crew will be issued with 8,000 new handheld devices with M2M connectivity which will create a secure managed connection to sync data with credit card companies when the plane lands.

“This business partnership is one of the most significant for Vodafone Ireland to date, demonstrating our total communications capabilities by providing complete end-to-end solutions tailored to Ryanair’s requirements across 189 locations in Europe,” Vodafone Ireland enterprise director Anne Sheehan, said.

Ryanair plane image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years