Journal: TWUKSection:
Title: Issue Date: 30/04/01
Author: Page Number: 10
Copyright: Other

Ryanair’s ready to fight ABTA – and win

Not a week goes by now without the Walter Mittys of ABTA and rent-a-quote travel agents supporting a lawsuit against Ryanair, and calling for sanctions, including hanging, drawing and quartering over a roasting fire.

We wish these lemmings would stop talking about jumping over the cliff and actually go and do it for a change.

As for ABTA and its legal advisers, we will happily meet them any time, anywhere and look forward to doing so.

We will also happily take on ABTA, and welcome the chance to highlight the role it has played in anti-consumer drives such as handling fees and threatened boycotts of low-fare carriers.

Ryanair will win the case because we continue to pass on commission savings to consumers – a group ABTA appears to be very unfamiliar with – in the form of lower air fares.

We believe it is time for ABTA to wake up and realise that the age ofanti-consumer protectionist cartels is over.

The Internet has proven that when you give consumers choice, they vote in their millions in favour of lower fares over the Net, and bypass commission-obsessed travel agency distributors.

This is why Ryanair’s travel agency sales have fallen from 60% to 7% in the last year.

The £20 million in savings generated by, has been passed on to the travelling public in the form of lower air fares and, as a result, we have grown from seven million to nine million passengers.

So whinge on ABTA – the public supports Ryanair, and we will continueto take on the ABTA cartel on behalf of the consumer.

Travel agents who will succeed in the future are those who work with low-fare airlines, such as Ryanair, to provide cheaper air travel to the consumer.

The days of travel agentswhingeing on about 5% commission on low air fares are over. If you don’t like it, don’t sell it.

Thanks to the development of the Internet and our call centres, the consumer will no longer be fleeced by what we see as the highwaymen of ABTA.

As U2 might say: “It’s a beautiful day.”

Tim Jeans, sales and marketing director,

Ryanair, Stansted