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With two routes and two planes, the fledgling airline carried 82,000 passengers in one year.

Ryanair passenger numbers continued to increase, but the airline generally ran at a loss and, by 1991, was in need of restructuring including the closure of Ryanair Europe/London European.

After a successful flotation on the Dublin Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ Stock exchanges, the airline launched services to Stockholm, Sandefjord Airport, Torp (110 km south of Oslo), Beauvais–Tillé and Charleroi near Brussels.

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.

Ryanair launched a new base of operation in Charleroi Airport in 2001.

Later that year, the airline ordered 155 new 737-800 aircraft from Boeing at what was believed to be a substantial discount, to be delivered over eight years from 2002 to 2010.

By 1995, after the consistent pursuit of its low-cost business model, Ryanair celebrated its 10th birthday by carrying 2.25 million passengers.

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 took part in a publicity stunt, where he helped out with baggage handling on Ryanair flights at Dublin Airport.

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, to protect Aer Lingus, but Britain, under Margaret Thatcher's deregulating Conservative government, approved the service.

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