Deal with Ryanair furthers TUI’s plans for global booking platform

Deal with Ryanair furthers TUI’s plans for global booking platform

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Tour operating company TUI Group is accelerating its transformation into a global provider of travel and experiences with a new partnership in which all Ryanair flights will soon be bookable directly with TUI and can be combined with the German-based travel company’s full offerings.

The Ryanair flights build on TUI’s growing number of flights and existing connections with partner airlines and can be integrated into package tours when booking at travel agencies and online.

For Ryanair, the deal assures that TUI won’t overcharge customers for its products. The Ireland-based carrier has been crusading against what it calls “OTA Pirates”: online travel agencies that charge more for things like flight change and allocated seat fees.

The partnership means TUI customers can book Ryanair flights, seats and other ancillaries with full price transparency, said Dara Brady, director of marketing and digital at Ryanair.

“This deal separates TUI from the ‘OTA Pirates’ who continue to dupe and scam consumers by unlawfully screen scraping Ryanair’s website and mis-selling our flights with egregious hidden mark-ups and overcharges,” Brady said.

The option of booking Ryanair flights as part of TUI holidays will be gradually introduced in the coming weeks and will cover all routes relevant to tourism. The flights can be combined with TUI’s hotel offers both in travel agencies and online.

This builds on efforts CEO Sebastian Ebel outlined in December when he said TUI is a year and a half into what will be a five-year program to create a single booking platform.

“We are consistently implementing our transformation into a year-round provider of travel and experiences,” David Schelp, CEO of markets and airlines for TUI Group, said following the Ryanair deal. “More hotels, more flight connections, more excursions and activities while traveling and at home – we are creating even more choice for our guests.

“The strategy for our tour operators is clear: We want to continue to grow profitably – with our own exclusive brands and products as well as with an even broader and more individualized offering,” Schelp added. “The agreement we have now reached will create more travel options for our guests than ever before. In the [United Kingdom] in particular, our guests will be able to choose from an even wider range of flights in the future.”

In announcing fiscal year 2024 first quarter results Tuesday, TUI Group reported a 15% increase in group sales to €4.3 billion in. Adjusted group EBIT was positive for the first time at €6 million, an improvement by €159 million year over year. And total guests traveling with TUI in the reporting period that ended Dec. 31 reached 3.5 million, a 6% increase from the same period the previous year.

“People’s high willingness to travel ensures strong economic development in all areas of the group in a continuing challenging environment,” Ebel said. “This reinforces our expectations for the year as a whole: We want to grow sales by at least 10% and operating profit by at least 25%.”


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