Saturday 7 December 2019

Ryanair to start selling its own holiday packages

Michael O'Leary
Michael O'Leary
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ryanair plans start selling its own holiday packages within a couple of years and will also introduce a price comparison feature on its website in order to persuade even more passengers to buy its tickets.

“I think it’s inevitable that we will, over the medium term, roll out holiday products where you’ll be able to get all-inclusive holiday packages on the Ryanair website,” said Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary. He said such a service could be launched within two or three years.

The chief executive also confirmed that the new price comparison service will be launched in coming months, giving customers an immediate indication of how much flights would cost with rivals such as EasyJet or Aer Lingus.

The plans come as Ryanair yesterday revealed huge profits during the first half of its financial year.

They jumped 32pc to €795m, helped by the airline’s strategy of improving customer service and experience. It also expects to make profits of about €770m. That’s over €100m more than it previously expected to make.

The price comparison service is one of a number planned by Ryanair as it hires hundreds of people for its new digital innovation centre at its HQ in Swords, Co Dublin.

“Ryanair Labs is moving along at some pace,” said Mr O’Leary. “Over the next six to 12 months you’ll see a number of other developments.”

He said the airline is looking at making its website more than just a travel website, and a new hotel partner will soon be unveiled by the airline.

“We’re now looking at developments over the next 12 months where you’ll see us put up, for example, comparison pricing,” said the outspoken airline boss. He said he’s “particularly keen” on such a service.

“Every time you’re on our website, on any of our routes, we’ll put up the competitor prices.”

He said many visitors to Ryanair’s website also visit price comparison websites. The price comparisons on Ryanair’s site will change in real time as a user alters the date of travel or destination, for instance.

He said Ryanair will then add other features “such as putting a Tripadvisor feature on the website – rate the flight, rate the destination, rate the hotel, rate the experience”.

“There’s a whole series of innovation that Ryanair Labs, which we’ve only just set up, is working on and we’ll see those rolled out over the next 12 months,” he added.

While Ryanair has no plans to introduce any frequent flier programme, Mr O’Leary said it will encourage customers to fly more by offering discounts.

As early as the end of March next year, Mr O’Leary said Ryanair might start offering discounts to customers who have flown a number of times with the airline during the previous 12 months.

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