Ryanair in plan to put rivals' fares on its own website
Ryanair wants to sidestep price comparison websites by displaying rivals' fares on its own website.
The airline's chief executive Michael O'Leary said that he's written to the chief executives of four other major European airlines to persuade them to join forces and take on fare comparison websites run by companies such as Google and Expedia.
It's understood the other airline groups Mr O'Leary has written to are Air France-KLM, British Airways owner IAG, Lufthansa and EasyJet.
"We're keen that the major airlines in Europe would offer a price comparison feature on each other's websites," said Mr O'Leary.
"We've written to the chief executives of the other big four airlines, asking them to reciprocate. So, we would show their prices, they would show ours."
The airline boss added that he didn't envisage that the service would result in Ryanair stealing customers from rivals, and that because his aircraft are now so full, it may result in potential Ryanair passengers using a rival service instead.
"I think it's something the airlines could and should work together on, because it makes no sense to have third-party price comparison websites out there," added Mr O'Leary.
"If the airlines were competitive and had a competent digital offering, those kind of third parties shouldn't exist."
He said he is hopeful that when Ryanair's new website launches in October it will include a price comparison function.
Mr O'Leary said that he expects replies from the other airline bosses in coming days.
By having the price comparison feature on their own websites, the airlines could ensure that people who book tickets buy additional services through, for instance, the Ryanair portal rather than using other websites to pay for hotels or car hire.
Mr O'Leary was speaking as Ryanair released first-quarter results that showed its profits in the three months to the end of June rose 25pc to €245m.
The airline expects its average fares during the second half of its financial year, which runs from October 1 to March 31, to fall by up to 8pc as it passes on fuel savings to customers.
Ryanair's chief commercial officer Kenny Jacobs told the Irish Independent that he didn't expect a positive response initially from other airline chiefs in relation to the price comparison service.