by Jillian Ambrose, The Daily Telegraph, December 2, 2016
Low-cost airline Ryanair is mounting a direct challenge to Europe’s package holiday giants, saying it plans to undercut the market with a new venture called Ryanair Holidays.
The no-frills travel company is set to take on the likes of Thomas Cook by offering holiday packages that build on its extensive flight network across Europe by adding accommodation and transfer packages.
Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said the airline was poised to become the "Amazon of air travel" by transforming the package holiday market in the same way that the company disrupted European air travel by slashing ticket prices in the Nineties.
“Consumers have been paying too much for package holidays for years and more and more want to put their own packages together themselves,” he said.
Ryanair is targeting Europe’s largest package holiday markets in the UK, Ireland and Germany for its launch of package deals which offer travel to three-, four- and five-star hotels throughout the Mediterranean and Europe’s capital cities via its existing website.
The airline’s entry into the package holiday market will be in partnership with accommodation provider World2Meet and Spain-based tour operator Logitravel, and marks Ryanair’s latest push beyond selling seats on planes.
The travel company launched Ryanair Car Hire and Ryanair Rooms earlier this year and said the growing business areas proved that customers were increasingly using it for services and products other than flights.
Ryanair promised that its airfares, accommodation and transfers would all be offered at the lowest prices.
The bold claims follow a tumultuous year for the European travel industry, which suffered a heavy hit to demand due to a string of terror attacks and renewed economic jitters that have dented consumer confidence.
Tour operators have been particularly affected by terrorism fears in Turkey and Egypt, which pushed holidaymakers towards safe-haven holiday favorites in Western Europe, including the Spanish islands.
Ryanair itself issued a rare profit warning earlier this year, saying its net profits would be between €1.30bn and €1.35bn (£1.17bn to £1.22bn) in the year to March 31, 2017, 5pc lower than its previous guidance of €1.375bn to €1.425bn.
This article was written by Jillian Ambrose from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.