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‘Pirates’ – Ryanair slams booking platforms over flight removals

Ryanair news

Ryanair has criticized online travel agents for abruptly removing its flights from their platforms in December.

Targets of the budget carrier’s wrath include Booking.com, Kiwi, and Kayak.

This action followed an Irish High Court ruling that banned screenscraper Flightbox from gathering Ryanair flight data for these agents.

The company expects removal of flights to result in a 1% to 2% increase in empty seats during December and January. While ticket revenues may also be affected, the airline believes it won’t significantly impact full-year passenger numbers or profit expectations.

Ryanair plans to counter this by reducing fares for passengers booking directly on its website. The airline referred to the online agents as “pirates” and will continue working with transparent agents like Google Flights.

The removal of flights might be due to pressure from consumer protection agencies or new customer verification measures. Ryanair has been involved in legal disputes with online booking sites, including Booking.com, and the recent Irish High Court ruling against Flightbox contributed to this situation.

Despite the challenges, Ryanair reported a near-60% rise in profits, with passenger numbers reaching 105.4 million in the six months to September.

Image credit: Andrew Dawes

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