Industry players appear unperturbed by Ryanair’s launch into the package holiday sector.
Ryanair unveiled Ryanair Holidays last week, in partnership with European tour operating and travel agency group Logitravel and Iberostar-owned World2Meet, a destination management company.
The tie-up will see Ryanair Holidays offer 330,000 hotels but with an Atol capacity of just 11,560.
Chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs promised Ryanair would offer package holidays 10% cheaper than competitors to become the “Amazon of travel”, suggesting “consumers have been paying too much”.
However, industry leaders suggested the airline has a lot to learn about the sector.
Alistair Rowland, group general manager at Midcounties Co operative Travel, suggested Ryanair Holidays could struggle to make an impact.
“I do not see Ryanair Holidays as being critical, because the market is moving back towards the traditional package, bought not only direct but also through agents,” he said.
“I don’t think Ryanair’s brand will stretch to offer the trust and quality that customers are looking for. Getting across that it is not just a low-cost airline anymore, but is trying to sell holidays, is a complex message.”
On the Beach chief executive Simon Cooper said: “There are more examples of low-cost carriers trying to sell holidays that haven’t worked than have worked.
“Low-cost carriers do what they do incredibly well, but they don’t sell holidays.”
However, Cooper agreed with Jacobs that smaller online travel agents could suffer: “We predict downsizing and the failure of some of the smaller OTAs in the market”.
Jacobs said he anticipates half of the “myriad online travel agents” to be “gone in five years’ time”.
Dnata chief executive Andy Washington said: “Building an OTA takes lots of skill, endeavours and experience in a rapidly evolving market. While we will no doubt read a lot about Ryanair Holidays, our focus is on our own businesses and customers.”
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