HomeAir LineRyanair completes its veto on Booking and signs an alliance with TUI...

Ryanair completes its veto on Booking and signs an alliance with TUI to sell its flights

The German tour operator will market one million flights of the Irish airline

Michael O’Leary, CEO of the Ryanair group.EVELYN HOCKSTEIN (REUTERS)

TUI, the largest tour operator in Europe, and Ryanair, the airline that operates the most flights in Europe, They signed a strategic alliance this morning which will allow the million flights it operates per year to be integrated into the German giant’s offer. All TUI customers will be able to book Ryanair tickets directly and use them to build travel packages or individual journeysadding accommodation, transfers, circuits or experiences that are marketed on the German giant’s website.

With this announcement, Ryanair, Europe’s most important airline, complete the veto on online agencies (OTA)which he accuses of deceiving the consumer by charging surcharges to customers, violating their commitment to sell cheap tickets, and even preventing direct communication with the company in the event of possible incidents. Among those affected are eDreams, Lastminute or Kayak, although the best known and to which this measure was directed due to its high market share is Booking, with which it already had several disputes before the court. In factthe airline chaired by Michael O’Leary managed to get those online agencies that it calls “pirates” to stop selling their tickets since last December.

Hereinafter, TUI will become Ryanair’s main distribution channel (it had also reached similar agreements with the agencies on-line Loveholidays and Kiwi) and thus begins its reinvention to go from being a traditional tour operator to an operator that competes with Booking or Expedia, as emphasized by the CEO of TUI, Sebastian Ebel, in a recent interview with Cinco Días. “The agreement confirms the tour operator’s commitment to digitizing its different businesses. In the last fiscal year we sold 2.5 million travel packages and the cooperation with Ryanair will increase the offer and sales, contributing to achieving our great objective: growing through more products and more customers.” For its part, Dara Brady, Director of Marketing and Digitalization at Ryanair, stressed that the agreement serves to distinguish between TUI and “pirate” online travel agencies. “The latter continue to deceive and defraud consumers by illegally stealing the Ryanair domain and mis-selling our flights with atrocious hidden markups and surcharges.”

The main unknown that this agreement raises is the impact it will have on Ryanair’s income, due to the important market share that some of these online agencies have in travel distribution. The airline closed 2023 with a new record of passengers transported (181.8 million), which represented a growth of 13% compared to 2022, the date on which it already exceeded pre-covid levels. The airline’s latest analysis limited the negative impact of this veto and considered that it will not affect the number of reservations, since it pointed out that the weight of the OTAs in them is marginal, and it will affect the load factor, although it anticipated which will only reduce by 1% or 2% in the short term. Ryanair ruled out that it will affect passenger traffic or the expected profitability for the next two fiscal years.

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Source: Cincodias

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