Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has targeted a doubling of the proportion of bookings made via GDSs within five years.
The no-frills carrier rejoined the Travelport GDS in April 2014, and has since also made its flights bookable via Amadeus and Sabre.
“Participation is rising strongly, particularly among corporate travel agents,” said O’Leary. “Sales through GDSs are going very well”.
He added that GDSs accounted for less than 5% of sales but expected this to rise to 10% over the next five years.
“This would be reflected in the fact we expect about 10% of our total traffic in five years’ time will be business travellers and we would expect most of those to be coming through the corporate travel agents and GDSs,” he said.
“When we launch the website and app in October, you’ll see us aggressively push business travel and Business Plus, which is a fantastic package of services.”
O’Leary said the focus on business sales had led to the introduction of flights this winter between Stansted and Gothenburg. The new route will facilitate travel between Cambridge, where AstraZeneca is building a headquarters and global research and development centre, and the
Swedish city, where the pharmaceutical giant has a facility.
O’Leary was speaking at the launch of a partnership with CarTrawler, which will provide car rental via the budget carrier’s website from next month, following Hertz’s withdrawal in July.
Meanwhile, O’Leary revealed that discussions had started with several carriers, including Aer Lingus, in which Ryanair sold its 30% stake last month, about possible interlining arrangements.
“It’s probably safe to say we will be aiming to have something done by the start of the winter schedule, in November,” he said.
“Once we were a small airline and we looked at Aer Lingus as the devil,” O’Leary added. “Now we look down with a degree of pity and as one of our smaller competitors in Ireland. If we can help Aer Lingus grow its transatlantic business and make money out of it, then why not?”