Tui to start selling Ryanair flights ‘as soon as possible’

Tui will commence selling flights sourced direct from Ryanair “as soon as possible” following last week’s ground-breaking agreement between Europe’s biggest carrier and biggest integrated operator.

The group already sells Ryanair seats in some markets, but the agreement to source seats direct via an API connection to Ryanair’s platform will have most impact in the UK.

Tui will connect to Ryanair’s entire schedule but only flights offering access to accommodation on the Tui platform will be available to agencies and customers.

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The agreement is open-ended, but Tui insisted the deal has “no implications” for Tui Airways.
It envisages selling more than one million Ryanair seats a year, boosting its dynamic packaging capacity. However, one million carryings would be less than 0.6% of Ryanair’s forecast 183 million passengers this year.

A Tui spokesperson revealed “there is no fixed date” for the launch of directly sourced Ryanair flights but confirmed: “We want it to be as soon as possible. It will take some weeks to create the link to bring content into our systems.”

Tui already sells Ryanair flights sourced via GDSs “in certain markets”, mostly through German travel agencies.

Nothing in the Ryanair schedule will be excluded from Tui access, but Tui will restrict availability to “anywhere you can combine a flight with accommodation” on its platform.

Tui already sources flights direct from carriers including easyJet, Lufthansa and German subsidiary Eurowings, and is midway through a two-month trial with Wizz Air in Austria. Chief executive Sebastian Ebel acknowledged: “We’re purchasing 30%-40% of seats from other airlines mainly on routes we don’t fly.”

The spokesperson confirmed Tui “has relations with leisure airlines in all markets” but insisted: “There are no implications for Tui Airways. This comes on top of our inhouse capacity. Tui Airways is growing in the UK.”

However, the Ryanair deal will have the biggest impact in the UK given the size of the carrier here. Announcing the agreement, Tui said Ryanair flights would be combined with the company’s “full offering” but “will be particularly beneficial for the [direct-sell] First Choice brand” relaunched last September as an online, app-based platform targeted at younger customers.

The spokesperson said: “First Choice will benefit the most because it looks so much to dynamic packaging.”

The group reported selling more than 2.5 million dynamic packages in its last full year.

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