European low-cost carrierhas temporarily closed its Ryanair Holidays service, just over a month since it .
A message on the channel says the platform has been suspended “because of illegal screenscraping and mis-selling of Ryanair flights by the technology provider”.
Tour operatorand accommodation service World2Meet were named at the launch as the backbone behind the new Ryanair Holidays service.
The pair would initially create packages for Ryanair passengers in the UK, Ireland and Germany, with other markets to follow in 2017.
The airline claimed the addition of the new Holidays service would be another step “on our journey to becoming the Amazon of air travel”.
The airline says all existing bookings made by passenger will be honoured and that it expects to have a replacement service available by the end of February.
In a statement, Ryanair says the agreement was terminated with the software provider after it “was found to be unlawfully scraping Ryanair’s low fares”.
“Ryanair apologises to its customers for any inconvenience caused but re-emphasized that it will not allow any 3rd party software provider to ‘screen-scrape’ and unlawfully re-sell Ryanair’s low fares.”
World2Meet has yet to respond to a request for comment.
LogiTravel CEO Tomeu Bennasar says part of the agreement was that it would develop a “direct connection to the Ryanair booking system”.
He insists that the company has “never engaged in scraping Ryanair’s website and is connected to the GDSs and flight consolidators to obtain content.
“At Logitravel we do not add any fees to the supply of a seat on any airline.
“For us, the flight seat component has become a commodity product and our only goal is to provide our customers with the best option for them but we do not make ANY money on the flight component.”
Regarding the partnership, he adds:
“We have enjoyed being part of the project as we hold the Ryanair business model, as well as its CEO in very high regard.
“Ryanair, however, has taken the unilateral decision to remove Logitravel from the project.
“This decision was taken over one month ago but we offered to continue with the project for an additional month in order to give Ryanair time and space to find another partner for the Ryanair Holidays project. This we did out of respect for Ryanair and to ensure as much as we could that it be given the best chance to succeed.”
The packages were expected to be built out from accommodation via the two providers and on flights around the Ryanair network.
These were positioned as both packages (all ATOL-bonded and insured) for long-stay holidays and city breaks.
The move followed the relaunch of the airline’s accommodation-only service, Ryanair Rooms,this year through Expedia Inc-owned Hotels.com and Hotelopia, the consume-facing wing of Hotelbeds.
In an, marketing director Kenny Jacobs said:
“You’re seeing all of these digital businesses which are de-bundling the package holiday as we know it.
“There are a few exceptions: Some Germans will still walk to the high-street travel agent and buy the classic two-week holiday. And in Scandinavia there has been more of a tendency for package holidays….
“But the UK and Ireland are more like the American market, where people choose to package their own holidays.”
Ryanair was, therefore, focusing its own digital strategy on encouraging more of this mix-and-match holidays planning.
“In the Ryanair platform, what we’re doing with Ryanair rules is that we have all options available. Most of the vast majority of our customers will still buy the flight, and then buy a different type of accommodation….
“Because people want to choose five-star hotels in some cases, or the same person may want to stay in a campsite another time of year. So we’ll provide the choice that will fit certain European markets.”
Ryanair has fought awith so-called screen-scrapers, most notably eDreams which it is trying to face down in the Irish courts alongside .
It also recentlytravel search site after an alleged breach of contract.