Some media reports say that the short statement headed “Important Information: Ryanair Holidays is discontinuing its service” was posted on the holidays.ryanair.com website on Monday 14th January – but ITTN is aware that it was already on the site by Thursday 3rd January 2019.
The statement simply adds: “Dear Customer, going forward, it is no longer possible to book a package on Ryanair Holidays. However, all previous bookings are unaffected and will be fulfilled as planned.”
Ryanair’s Holidays division was initially launched in December 2016 in conjunction with Spain-based tour operator Logitravel and accommodation provider World2Meet. However, the service was temporarily suspended in January 2017, with Ryanair stating: “We have terminated our agreement with the software provider who was found to be unlawfully scraping Ryanair’s low fares.” Ryanair Holidays was then relaunched, in February 2017, with a new accommodation partner, “having finalised an agreement with a new (Germany-based) software provider, HLX Touristik.
Now, less than two years later, Ryanair Holidays has been “discontinued” with a 28-word statement.
Pat Dawson, Chief Executive, Irish Travel Agents Association, said: “Selling airline seats is very different to selling a packaged holiday. While Ryanair Holidays comes to an end, the carrier’s capacity in and out of Ireland has continued to grow steadily and the airline has expanded in all airports. Many other airlines have faced similar challenges when looking to develop package holiday operations in the past.
“The new Package Holiday Directive also adds to the difficultly when selling pre-arranged or customised packaged holidays and requires expert knowledge and experience. Travel agents excel at crafting packages that focus on the individual’s needs and wants. Customers will always get the best holiday and personalised booking experience from travel agents, who know the industry inside out and what is available. What’s more, ITAA agents are fully bonded to ensure security and support with holiday bookings.”