Why Are Ryanair Landings So Hard?

If you have ever flown on a Ryanair flight, you may have noticed some particularly bumpy and abrupt landings that seem much more jarring than other airlines. In this comprehensive article, we will explore the reasons behind Ryanair’s notoriously hard landings and what factors contribute to this unique aspect of their flights.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Ryanair pilots intentionally land the planes harder and faster to minimize turnaround times on the ground and keep flights punctual.

Ryanair’s Business Model and Focus on Turnaround Times

Ryanair, Europe’s largest low-cost airline, has gained a reputation for its hard landings. While the perception may be that Ryanair pilots are intentionally making rough landings, the reality lies in the airline’s unique business model and focus on turnaround times.

Low-Cost Focus

Ryanair’s business model is built on offering extremely low-cost flights to its passengers. This means that the airline operates on thin profit margins and constantly seeks ways to reduce expenses. One of the ways Ryanair achieves this is by using smaller regional airports that often have shorter runways.

These shorter runways can make landings feel more abrupt compared to larger airports with longer runways.

Additionally, Ryanair operates a fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, which are known for their efficiency and cost-effectiveness. However, these aircraft are designed for shorter takeoff and landing distances, which can contribute to firmer landings compared to larger aircraft.

Quick Turnarounds

Another factor that contributes to Ryanair’s hard landings is the airline’s focus on quick turnaround times. Ryanair aims to minimize the time an aircraft spends on the ground between flights to maximize efficiency.

This means that pilots have limited time to complete their pre-landing preparations, which can result in a firmer touchdown on the runway.

Furthermore, the pressure to maintain on-time departures may also play a role in the firmness of Ryanair landings. Pilots may prioritize a quick landing to ensure that the aircraft can be prepared for its next departure on time, potentially leading to harder landings.

Fuel Efficiency

Ryanair places a strong emphasis on fuel efficiency to keep operating costs low. This means that pilots are encouraged to use techniques such as idle thrust landings, where the engines are set to idle during the descent and landing phase.

While this approach can save fuel, it can result in a firmer landing due to the reduced engine power available to cushion the touchdown.

It’s important to note that while Ryanair landings may feel harder compared to other airlines, they are still within safe limits and meet all regulatory requirements. The airline’s focus on cost-saving measures and quick turnaround times has allowed it to offer affordable fares to millions of passengers, making air travel accessible to a wider audience.

For more information on Ryanair’s operations and safety standards, you can visit https://corporate.ryanair.com/about-us/.

Landing Techniques Used by Ryanair Pilots

When it comes to landing techniques, Ryanair pilots have a reputation for firm landings. Passengers often wonder why their landings can be so hard compared to other airlines. While some may find this uncomfortable, it is important to understand that these landing techniques are actually intentional and have specific reasons behind them.

Firm Landings

Ryanair pilots are trained to perform firm landings as a safety precaution. The firm landing technique ensures that the aircraft touches down firmly on the runway, minimizing the risk of bouncing or floating during the landing process.

This is particularly important in adverse weather conditions, where a firmer landing can provide better control of the aircraft and reduce the chances of a runway excursion.

It is worth noting that a firm landing does not necessarily mean that the aircraft is landing with excessive force or in a reckless manner. In fact, the landing technique employed by Ryanair pilots is well within the acceptable limits set by aviation authorities.

Descending Late

Another aspect that contributes to the perception of hard landings by Ryanair pilots is their late descent. Ryanair pilots are trained to descend later in the approach phase compared to other airlines.

This technique allows the aircraft to descend at a steeper angle, resulting in a shorter approach and a quicker touchdown. While this may lead to a slightly firmer landing, it also allows for a more efficient use of airspace and reduces the time spent in the air, resulting in cost savings for the airline.

Higher Approach Speeds

Ryanair pilots also tend to use higher approach speeds during landings. This is done to ensure that the aircraft maintains a higher margin of safety during the landing process. Higher approach speeds provide the pilots with better control of the aircraft, especially in gusty crosswind conditions.

While this may result in a slightly firmer touchdown, it enhances the overall safety of the landing.

It is important to remember that landing techniques can vary between airlines and even individual pilots. Ryanair’s landing techniques have been developed and approved by aviation authorities to ensure the safety and efficiency of their operations.

While the firm landings may feel different to passengers, they are part of the standard operating procedures employed by Ryanair pilots to ensure a safe and successful landing.

Plane and Runway Factors Contributing to Hard Landings

When it comes to hard landings, several factors related to both the airplane and the runway can contribute to this phenomenon. Understanding these factors can shed light on why Ryanair landings, in particular, are sometimes considered challenging. Let’s delve into the key factors:

Plane Weight and Balance

One significant factor that can contribute to hard landings is the weight and balance of the aircraft. The weight distribution affects the plane’s stability during the landing phase. If the weight is not properly distributed, it can cause the aircraft to land with excessive force, leading to a hard landing.

Ryanair, being a low-cost airline, operates with tight turnarounds, and ensuring proper weight and balance might be challenging in some cases.

Shorter Runways

Ryanair operates in various airports with shorter runways, which can also contribute to hard landings. Shorter runways require pilots to make steeper descents and higher rates of descent during the landing approach.

This can increase the chances of a harder touchdown, especially if not executed precisely. Additionally, shorter runways may limit the available landing distance, leaving less room for error.

Weather Conditions

Weather conditions play a crucial role in the landing process, and unfavorable weather can make landings more challenging. Strong crosswinds, gusty winds, or turbulent conditions can make it difficult for pilots to maintain control of the aircraft during the landing phase.

Ryanair, with its extensive network covering various destinations, is likely to encounter diverse weather conditions, which can contribute to the perception of harder landings.

It is important to note that while hard landings can cause discomfort for passengers, they are generally safe and do not pose a significant risk to the structural integrity of the aircraft. Pilots undergo rigorous training to handle different landing scenarios and prioritize the safety of the passengers and crew.

To learn more about the factors contributing to hard landings, you can visit Boeing’s Aeromagazine, which provides in-depth insights into aviation-related topics.

Impact on Passengers and Crew

Passenger Comfort and Safety

Hard landings can have a significant impact on passenger comfort and safety. When an aircraft touches down with excessive force, it can cause a jarring sensation, leading to discomfort and even injuries among passengers.

The abrupt stop can result in items falling from overhead compartments or passengers being thrown forward in their seats. This can be especially problematic for older passengers or those with pre-existing medical conditions.

According to a study conducted by the Air Line Pilots Association, hard landings are one of the leading causes of passenger injuries during flights.

Passengers also rely on smooth landings for their overall sense of safety and confidence in the airline. A rough landing can create anxiety and fear among passengers, eroding trust in the aircraft’s ability to land safely.

This can have long-lasting effects on a passenger’s perception of the airline and may lead to a decrease in future bookings.

Effects on Cabin Crew

The impact of hard landings is not limited to passengers alone; it also affects the cabin crew members. Cabin crew are responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of passengers during the flight, including during takeoff and landing.

When a landing is particularly rough, cabin crew members may need to rush to attend to any injured passengers or address any immediate safety concerns. This can place additional strain on the cabin crew, who are already managing various responsibilities throughout the flight.

Furthermore, consistent exposure to hard landings can lead to physical discomfort and fatigue among cabin crew members. The repetitive shock and vibration experienced during rough landings can take a toll on their bodies, potentially leading to long-term health issues.

This highlights the importance of providing adequate support and training to cabin crew members to ensure their well-being.

Pilot Technique and Training

One of the main factors contributing to hard landings is pilot technique and training. Pilots require extensive training to master the skills necessary for smooth landings, which involve precise control and coordination of the aircraft’s altitude and speed.

However, factors such as weather conditions, runway conditions, and aircraft weight can make landings more challenging.

Pilot fatigue and stress can also play a role in hard landings. Long hours of flying and tight schedules can impact a pilot’s ability to consistently execute smooth landings. It is crucial for airlines to prioritize pilot well-being and provide adequate rest periods to minimize the risk of fatigue-related incidents.

Improving pilot technique and training is essential in preventing hard landings. Airlines and aviation authorities continually work together to develop and enforce stringent training programs and standards to ensure pilots are equipped with the necessary skills to handle various landing scenarios.


In summary, Ryanair’s hard landings are largely a conscious result of their business model which focuses intensely on quick turnaround times, keeping flights punctual, and reducing costs wherever possible.

While this can lead to a less comfortable passenger experience, their pilots are highly skilled and the landings meet all safety regulations. The next time you take a Ryanair flight, be prepared for a firm arrival, but rest assured the airline has it well under control.

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