Thursday 14 December 2017

Ryanair doesn't rule out tech acquisitions

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary Photo: Nick Ansell
Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary Photo: Nick Ansell
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ryanair won't rule out making acquisitions that would help bolster its efforts to become the 'Amazon of air travel', but chief executive Michael O'Leary said many relevant firms operating in the space are overvalued.

The airline has significantly enhanced its digital presence in the past couple of years and established its Ryanair Labs unit to develop new upgrades and services for its web and mobile sites.

The airline got about 300m unique visitors to its website in the first six months of the year.

Mr O'Leary said he "wouldn't rule out acquisitions".

"The problem is that in that space, the value of the acquisitions are crazy," he added. "Somebody has an app that makes no money and is worth a billion. Based on what?"

"There's almost nothing out there that you can't replicate," he said.

Mr O'Leary said that as Ryanair develops its platform, it's looking at being able to offer lower hotel rates to customers than any other provider, for instance.

"And maybe if you book the hotel with us, we'll give you the flight for free," he said.

"We need to build up consumer trust. Everybody comes to Ryanair because they're going to get the cheapest fares, but there's an image out there that we gouge you for everything else."

Irish Independent

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