IRELAND- Ryanair (FR) has raised concerns about potential negative impacts due to several online travel platforms deciding to remove the Irish airline from their websites.
The group has noted that starting from early December, prominent platforms like Booking.com, Kiwi, and Kayak have removed Ryanair from their listings.
Ryanair Removed from Online platforms
The unexpected removal from alleged online travel agent “pirates” was deemed favorable. However, it is anticipated to impact the load factor— a crucial gauge of plane occupancy—by one or two percent in December and January.
Ryanair anticipates short-term effects on ticket revenues, leading to a reduction in fares for direct bookings on its website.
Despite these challenges, the airline believes the overall impact on full-year passenger numbers and profit expectations will be minimal.
Carrying Record Passengers
In December, Ryanair carried nine percent more passengers, totaling 12.5 million, but the load factor dropped from 92 percent to 91 percent compared to the previous year.
The Israel-Hamas conflict and the ongoing suspension of flights to Tel Aviv and nearby Jordan forced the cancellation of over 900 flights.
The update coincides with an ongoing dispute between Ryanair and online booking platforms. Ryanair has initiated legal action in the US against Booking.com owner Booking Holdings and its subsidiaries, which include Kayak, Agoda, and Priceline.
Ryanair’s removal from these sites is unclear, but it might be related to a recent Irish High Court ruling.
The ruling granted Ryanair a permanent injunction against Flightbox for unlawfully scraping content from Ryanair.com for online travel agents.
Encouraging Direct Bookings
Screen-scraping involves a third party accessing an airline’s website and often presenting the carrier’s fares to its customers through its own site.
Ryanair responded to the removal of its flights from online travel agent (OTA) pirate websites, stating, “We will lower fares as needed to encourage passengers to book directly on Ryanair.com.”
This ensures they always receive the lowest airfares without OTA Pirate overcharges, fake contact info, or other pricing/refund scams.
Meanwhile, Ryanair continues to collaborate with honest and transparent OTAs such as Google Flights.
These platforms refrain from adding hidden mark-ups to Ryanair prices and guide passengers to make bookings directly on Ryanair.com.
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