Tuesday 16 July 2019

Ryanair closes holidays service - 'No longer possible to book a package'

Ryanair Holidays launched in 2016, but package holidays service has failed to take-off for the airline

Kenny Jacobs and friends launch 'Ryanair Holidays'
Kenny Jacobs and friends launch 'Ryanair Holidays'
Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. Passengers board a Ryanair passenger plane. Photo by Ulrich Baumgarrten via Getty Images
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Just two years after it launched its package holidays business, Ryanair has announced that it is "discontinuing" the service.

The announcement was posted on holidays.ryanair.com yesterday.

"Going forward, it is no longer possible to book a package on Ryanair Holidays," it said. "However, all previous bookings are unaffected and will be fulfilled as planned."

Ryanair Holidays was originally launched on December 1st, 2016 - a significant play in the airline's bid to become "the Amazon of travel".

In recent years, it has also launched a car hire service, 'Ryanair Tickets' and 'Ryanair Rooms', with the aim of growing ancillary revenues through its app and website. But package holidays, an offering it once compared to Aldi, have failed to take off.

"It's not a surprise to us," said Pat Dawson, CEO of the ITAA.

"Ryanair is an airline. It is a fantastic company from that point of view, but when it comes to looking after people, that is a travel agent's profession."

Many businesses have tried and failed to sell package holidays, Dawson added, underestimating the "expertise, professionalism and knowledge" required. 

"An airline will never become a travel agent, no matter what they throw at it, no matter how big they are. You've got to know your product personally, rather than cutting and pasting," he said.

A Ryanair spokesperson declined to comment on why its holidays business had been axed, or whether customer bookings had continued up to Monday.

Despite the closure, Ryanair's core business remains strong, with airline passenger numbers up 8pc to 139.2 million last year.

Affected customers can contact the company's service team on 01 691-7197 or by emailing support@ryanairholidays.com, it says.

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