Ryanair has accused budget carrier easyJet of being a “closet high fares airline” following its deal to sell flights through travel agencies (October 5). It is the first time a low-cost carrier has used a third party for sales.
Ryanair says it welcomed the deal as it cements easyJet’s position as a “high fares airline”. Peter Sherrard, Ryanair head of communications, says: “EasyJet has always been a closet high fares airline and we are delighted to see that it is coming out.
“EasyJet’s costs were already nearly 60% higher than Ryanair’s. Then they bought the high-fare GB Airways which has an average cost of £92, and today they have signed a deal with travel agents, the costliest parasites in the travel industry.”
EasyJet signed a deal with global fight distribution systems Amadeus and Galileo in a bid to target more business travellers. The deal will allow corporate travel agencies to view and book flights alongside other carriers but it will add a point-of-sale fee to the cost of the airfare. It is the same fee that applies to all non-internet sales including telephone and airport sales.
EasyJet chief executive Andy Harrison says the airline needed to appeal to time sensitive passengers travelling to and from major airports.†
The airline †was launched in 1995 by entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou (pictured). It created the budget travel market by allowing customers to book flight online without using travel agents.