Ryanair looks to start ‘online travel revolution’ with Ryanair Labs launch

Ryanair is launching a digital innovation hub, Ryanair Labs, as it aims to kickstart an ‘online travel revolution’ that can ‘change the world of online air travel’.

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The airline says it plans to recruit 200 new staff, including a chief technology officer, a head of digital marketing and a social media manager by December as it looks to build a “world class online travel platform”.

Robin Kiely, Ryanair’s head of communications, says: “Ryanair changed air travel in Europe forever – now we want to change the world of online travel and we’re going to do that through Ryanair Labs. We’re seeking to hire the best of the best to reimagine the online travel sector.”

Ryanair Labs will be based in Dublin and is looking to hire people across marketing, content and strategy that can “not only imagine but build amazing experiences”, according to Kiely. He says Ryanair Labs will offer workers “the perks and culture of a start-up without the downsides”, such as having to “pull all-nighters and give up weekends”.

The online push is part of attempts by Ryanair to improve the experience for its customers and so boost sales after it issued a number of profit warnings last year. It has already launched a new site that it claims makes it much easier for customers to make bookings, as well as introducing a loyalty scheme in MyRyanair that has already had more than 2 million sign-ups.

Speaking to Marketing Week earlier this year, chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said Ryanair is planning further updates to make the digital experience more personal for its customers, including the introduction of travel guides that could use user generated content and target communications based on customers’ travel history.

“I’m really excited by user generated content. So if you’re travelling to Lanzarote, I would love to provide a platform where you tell us about your experience and share that with other customers, whether they’re Ryanair customers or not.

“I think that makes it more engaging. You can indicate what type of content you’re interested in and we can serve that up on the website and in CRM. Content is really powerful, people like to consume it, they like to create it themselves and they like to share it. That is one of the trends that we’ll follow,” said Jacobs.