The following is a reply to TWgroup editor Lucy Huxley’s column Canaries should rethink Ryanair ‘discounts’ from Ryanair head of communication Stephen McNamara.


Dear Lucy,

I found your comment on the Canary Island discount scheme to be quite incredible. 

The suggestion that charter holiday makers are more ‘upscale’ than those who decide to book with other airlines, in this case Ryanair, is insulting to the millions of ABC1 passengers who will fly Ryanair this year and is laughable when you consider that some holiday destinations only need to be ‘up scaled’ after charter holiday companies flooded them with holidaymakers.

Also the claim, which is not backed up by any evidence, that Ryanair’s passengers typically spend less money in a destination than charter companies is completely illogical. 

Do-it-yourself holiday makers, who traditionally fly with the lowest fares airline, Ryanair, book their holiday accommodation directly from hotels – allowing the hotel to retain all of the accommodation revenues directly and not accept the pittance traditionally paid to them by dominant ‘charter’ companies. 

Having saved on the flight passengers often upgrade their accommodation, boosting four and five star hotels.

The claim that Thomas Cook is unlikely to benefit from this discount scheme is a situation entirely of their own making.  If Ryanair, Thomas Cook, Iberia, Spanair or any other airline/charter grow their passenger numbers this year they will quality for the discount. 

The Spanish Government and Government of the Canary Islands moved to incentivise travel to the Islands in order to boost the economy – which was being strangled by high cost charter companies who operated a virtual monopoly on the movement of tourists to the Islands.

If these charter companies did ‘love Spain’ as claimed they would have dramatically reduced holiday prices to keep passengers travelling, as Ryanair did, but they did not. 

Finally, as Ryanair keeps flight prices incredibly low, more passengers will travel more often than the once a year summer holiday charter holidaymaker – boosting revenue and delivering sustained employment.


Stephen McNamara
Head of Communication