Phocuswright Europe: Ryanair predicts growth of direct bookings as it eyes expansion beyond flights

Phocuswright Europe: Ryanair predicts growth of direct bookings as it eyes expansion beyond flights

Ryanair’s chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs has predicted that airlines will operate increasingly direct to consumers, as they focus more on a digital offering.

Speaking at the Phocuswright conference in the Convention Centre Dublin, Jacobs said that the “only way was up” in terms of what he could bring to the business he joined 16 months ago, adding that the airline was “evolving the customer experience approach” and is spending more on digital.

He said airlines have a great opportunity to sell more than flights by offering accommodation, car hire and activities on their websites.

“People think of their flight first so airlines have a good opportunity to sell more than ancillaries.

“I see us going from selling flights to becoming a travel business that will always specialise in flights.”

He revealed that the airline intends to become more active on Facebook and plans to integrate a share button within its website so that when customers are looking at flights, they can share them with friends who may also be interested in booking.

Jacobs said that airlines as whole “aren’t great at digital” but that this will change.

“I think we will see them urging consumers to go to them direct and download their own app so they need to get better at digital.

“We are now more than 90% direct so it was a great decision to move away from a GDS.

“A year from today we will have a much better website – we’ll be more trusted, and more people will go on a Ryanair holiday.”

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