No-frills carrier Ryanair has confirmed it’s in talks with Amadeus and Sabre as it looks to distribute its fares across a range of GDS systems.
Earlier this month Ryanair agreed a deal with Travelport to sell its fares and content – the first time it has done so in more than a decade.
Travelport will be the sole distributor for the airline until the end of the summer.
Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary said he wants to see the company “evolve” into a more corporate friendly airline.
He was speaking at an event last night in London to launch a range of new initiatives including its “Always Getting Better” scheme as it aims to “soften its image” among travellers.
O’Leary said he wants to work with GDSs again as they have become more cost-efficient.
“Travel agencies have changed and you have much more-efficient Global Distribution System - a major electronic worldwide reservation system used by travel agents to book flights, hotels, car rental and other travel services. The major players in this area are Sab... distribution,” he said. “The GDSs are more cost-conscious and the travel agent model has changed. Agents are charging passengers or end users a fee.
“We have to make Ryanair visible to companies. The strategy is to broaden our distribution platform so anyone going to any platform will see Ryanair’s low fares,” he added.
Also speaking at the event was Ryanair’s head of groups and corporate travel Lesley Kane who said the airline has made it easier to book its flights by loading fares on to Travelport and confirmed it’s “still in talks” with Amadeus and Sabre and hopes a deal to be in place later this year.
At the start of the year Ryanair confirmed it was set to target business travellers as it launched services such as flexible tickets, reserved seating and fast-track through selected airports.
This change in direction coincides with the airline introducing a range of different services to try and become more “traveller friendly”. These include an improved website, mobile app, free second carry-on bag, and a cut in standard airport bag fees.
Kane said the airline was looking to expand its corporate offering by trying to agree deals with more business destinations.
“We are talking to new airports, a lot of which are key business airports, some of which are in totally new markets which are actively looking to encourage Ryanair to fly there.”
Kane said it wants to grow from 81.5 million passengers in 2014 to 110 million by 2019. “We have recognised that there is a huge potential in the corporate market and we are going to actively target these passengers,” she said.