Amadeus' senior VP of distribution Holger Taubmann shared the stage with Ryanair's CEO Michael O'Leary at the FVW Congress in Cologne and talked over this morning's announcement that Ryanair fares will be available on Amadeus.
Selected highlights from the call:
Ryanair will keep some fares for itself
O'Leary says that "our two lowest class of fares will not be available on the GDS, such as new routes and promotional fares. They will be only available on ryanair.com, but they only represent 10-12% of our inventory. And close to 100% will be available within two, three weeks of travel." He adds that this is the same set-up it has with Travelport.
Taubmann says the fact that the fares will be available without a surcharge "will be a key to the success of the deal."
O'Leary says 27% of Ryanair passengers are currently business travellers.
"We want to convert half of them to using our Business Plus product, and most of these will be booked through corporates. We don't have a specific target as such".
GDS geeks will be interested to know that the deal is based on Amadeus' Light Ticketing' product
No US/China deal, yet
O'Leary admits that "we haven't begun to explore" a deal with a GDS in the US or China, but said that once the deal with Amadeus (and Travelport) has bedded down it might have a look.
"We think that anyone coming to Europe from America or China will find their way to Ryanair, either directly or through one of our GDS partners."
Tour operator charters possible in the future
When asked about working with two big buyers of seats in Germany - Thomas Cook and TUI - O'Leary mentions his "vast new open mind" about many parts of the business.
"We're working on our groups business. We get lots of enquiries from tour operators and we are working with some who want smaller allocations. I'm not going to sell 300 seats to TUI because we don't need the business - we want to keep the seats for people to book with Ryanair or our GDS partners.
"But in five ten years time, maybe we will be chartering, sub-contracting, who knows?"
No Ryanair press conference would be complete without a few choice responses.
When asked about how long the deal would last for, OLeary says:
"Is it three year or five years? I don't know. It's a bit like a marriage. We've had an engagement, today is the marriage, tonight is the love-making and then in a few months time there'll be lots of little Amadeus Ryanair children running round German airports. We're good Irish Catholics and we don't believe in divorce."
The official press release from Ryanair.
A slightly more detailed official press release from Amadeus.
Here's a blog post attributed to Michael O'Leary on the Amadeus website.