Ryanair and Booking.com end deal ahead of new Rooms service launch
Booking.com will no longer power the accommodation platform of the Ryanair website from the end of September this year and the airline says it is launching a new Ryanair Rooms platform on October 1.
Booking.com will no longer power the accommodation platform of the Ryanair website from the end of September this year.
The European low-cost carrier has worked with the Priceline Group-owned Booking.com on an exclusive basis since early-2009 but says it is launching a new Ryanair Rooms platform on October 1.
Ryanair is inviting partners to power the new service and has an RFP available for potential bidders, those “who want to help us disrupt the travel industry once more”, says chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs.
Booking.com will be asked to consider participating in the new platform.
The carrier says it wants the new Ryanair Rooms platform to feature hotels, hostels, B7Bs, rentals and homestay options.
“All will be at the lowest possible prices for Ryanair customers,” the airline says.
The launch of the new Ryanair Rooms service comes as the airline continues the overhaul of its public-facing website, part of its “Always Getting Better” initiative, dubbed by Jacobs to be the “Amazon of air travel” with more than just air tickets available to passengers.
Booking.com’s partnership for the last seven years (it later picked up a similar deal in April 2012 to power the same for low cost arch rival EasyJet) is the longest that Ryanair has had with a third party, after a number of partners came and went quickly in the mid-2000s.
Most acrimoniously was the ending of the relationship it had with Expedia, after the pair fell out over the terms of their contract which ran only from March 2007 to November 2008.
In a spat that ended up in the courts, Expedia was asked to cough up around £4 million after Ryanair claimed a failure of payments by the OTA during its contract to supply hotel search and bookings functionality to the airline’s website (Expedia eventually secured a deal to power the same type of service on Aer Lingus).
That was not the first time Ryanair had trousered some money from an old white label provider.
Rewind a few years before the infamous falling out with Expedia and Ryanair was reported to have secured Euro 10 million from the Cendant Corporation after accommodation brand Needahotel ended a five-year contract early.
Booking.com declined to comment.
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