Ryanair

Travellers will no longer be able to find Ryanair fares on price-comparison and booking websites like Kiwi, Kayak or Booking.com after they removed the Irish airline’s flights from their websites in early December.

In an announcement that formed part of its December air traffic update, Ryanair said it welcomed the removal, having recently won a permanent injunction after taking legal action against Flightbox, a similar website.

The removal, said Ryanair, may also be the result of pressure from consumer protection agencies or in response to its ‘Know Your Passenger’ customer initiatives such as verification.

Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, has long taken umbrage at its flights being booked from such websites, which it describes as “pirates”.

Welcome though it may be, the removal of its fares from these websites is expected to reduce Ryanair’s short-term load factors by one or two per cent in January, and soften short- term yields as it responds by making more low fares available directly to consumers. However, it is not expected to material affect its traffic during 2024.

“Ryanair will respond to this welcome removal of our flights from OTA [online travel agent] Pirate websites, by lowering fares where necessary to encourage all passengers to book directly on Ryanair.com where they are guaranteed to always get the lowest air fares without OTA Pirate overcharges, fake contact info, or other pricing/refund scams,” it said.

“In the meantime, Ryanair continues to make its fares available to honest/transparent OTA’s such as Google Flights, who do not add hidden mark ups to Ryanair prices and who direct passengers to make their bookings directly on the Ryanair.com website.”

In the update, Ryanair announced a nine per cent increase in its total passengers in December 2023 when compared to the same month a year prior, although its load factor did in fact decrease by one per cent, in line with its expectations as a result of its flights’ removal from price comparison and booking websites.

During the month, it operated over 72,500 flights, but had to cancel over 900 flights due to the conflict in Gaza.

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