Aviation Business News

Ryanair agrees partnership with OTA loveholidays

photo_camera OTA has pledged not to overcharge for flights includes in package holidays

Ryanair has agreed a partnership with online travel agent Loveholidays for its customers who wish to book low-cost package holidays. This arrangement allows the OTA’s  customers to buy Ryanair flights, seats, and bags as part of a package at the same fare that Ryanair is charging on its own website. As part of the deal, customers will have direct access to a myRyanair account, which was unobtainable for customers that booked through an ‘unauthorised’ OTA.

As part of the deal,  Loveholidays’ agrees that it will only display Ryanair’s real prices, without mark-ups and will only pass accurate customer contact and payment details to the airline. This means Loveholidays’ customers will not need to complete Ryanair’s customer verification process.

READ: Ryanair’s OTA victory comes at a short term price

Ryanair has previously taken a tough stance against OTAs that use its database to book and sell package holidays. Dubbing them ‘pirates’ and ‘screen-scrapers’, the airline disliked the way in which they apparently overcharge for flights and use forged customer details to do so.

The move has been generally applauded by industry analysts, although the scale and variability of booking fees has been questioned. Travel Industry ‘Thought Leader and former On Holiday Group CEO Steve Endacott said: “Loveholidays, which has been looking for new owners for the last 18 months, needed this deal urgently to reassure potential buyers that they will have access to airline flight seats moving forward”.

“With Easyjet Holidays rapidly expanding its Holiday division, Love suffered from a strategic risk regarding how many seats Easyjet will allow OTA’s to access when the OTA is effectively creating a package to compete with the airline’s in-house tour operation. Combine this with Jet2, now selling 80% of seats as packages on many leisure routes, and you quickly see how important access to Ryanair seats is”.

READ: Ryanair loses long-running third-party booking case

Loveholidays’ Chief Marketing Officer, Al Murray, added: “As the UK and Ireland’s largest and fastest growing OTA, we are delighted to be the world’s first Ryanair-approved package holiday provider. Our status as an approved Ryanair partner will ensure the process of booking and managing a Ryanair flight as part of a Loveholidays package is seamless for customers; something no other package holiday provider can offer”.

This is not the first time that Ryanair has allowed a third party to access its database. At the time of writing, flight information is provided through Google Flights. Previously, the airline launched a partnership with an OTA called Logitravel in a venture known as ‘Ryanair Holidays’. However, just eight weeks later, the airline accused the OTA of ‘screen-scraping’ practices, and the partnership ended.

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