Ryanair revealed it is in talks to make fares available on “one or more GDSs”.
But the carrier that has previously dismissed agents as “parasites” declined to confirm whether GDS fares would be available to leisure retailers.
It presented the GDS move as one of a series of measures to “enable Ryanair to deliver a significant business travel platform”, but also declined to say whether it wished to work with business agents and travel management companies (TMCs).
The Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) gave no more than a “cautious welcome”, with GTMC chief executive Paul Wait saying: “Ryanair has a long way to go to convince business travellers it’s a viable airline for their needs.”
Wait said: “Ryanair’s biggest job is convincing GTMC members it is more than losses forcing them to address the business travel sector. We’ll remain unconvinced until they invest in the products and services required by travel managers and business travellers.”
Ryanair has made a series of customer-service changes in recent months. The airline introduced allocated seats on all flights from Saturday and on Monday announced: “We’re in active negotiations with a number of GDS suppliers and hope Ryanair’s low fares and comprehensive route network will appear in one or more GDS channels by mid-year.”
Asked to clarify how widely GDS fares would be available, a Ryanair spokeswoman referred only to “group organisers and corporate businesses” and said: “Groups and business customers will be able to enjoy the added benefits of our tailored products.” Ryanair refused to comment further, insisting: “We don’t comment on our commercial discussions.”
EasyJet has appeared on GDSs since 2007, with fares available to leisure agents since 2012.