Ryanair is to appear on Galileo and Worldspan ahead of expansion into primary airports in the latest part of its move away from being an ultra-low cost carrier.
The deal with Travelport, which goes live on April 2, permits the sale of all Ryanair ancillaries and will be followed by a package aimed at business travellers with extras including flexible ticketing and fast-track security.
The switch to a more conventional model is aimed at filling the 175 aircraft that the airline has on order for delivery by 2018.
Chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said the partnership with Travelport and the move into primary airports would see the current 81.5 million passengers grow to 110 million by 2019, with half of this growth coming from expansion into mainstream airports.
He declined to give details of locations, but said talks with around 100 were ongoing.
Currently, 19 million Ryanair passengers (22%) are travelling on business. “With this partnership we can double the quantity,” he said.
“I would probably say this would take us two years.”
"You are seeing a new Ryanair. When we walked away a decade ago, it was the right decision at the time"
However, the airline admits it has no corporate accounts or agreements with travel management companies signed.
Jacobs said Ryanair was being transformed, under a plan called “Always Getting Better” in the same way that Ikea, Aldi and Skoda had changed.
“In a year, we will have moved forward,” he said.
Asked about the airline’s poor relations with the trade, he said: “You are seeing a new Ryanair. When we walked away a decade ago, it was the right decision at the time. We believe in the GDS.”
Agents will not be surcharged for booking Ryanair on the GDS although the 2% credit card charge will apply. Jacobs said Ryanair’s website would be relaunched next month, mobile boarding passes introduced in May and a bookable app in June.
Ryanair and Travelport have signed a deal for an undisclosed number of years but there is a break clause after one year. Talks have taken place with Amadeus and Sabre and Jacobs did not rule out signing deals with them.
Travelport’s Regional Director, UK & Ireland, Simon Ferguson said: “This is a hugely important partnership for travel agencies in the UK & Ireland, and we are delighted to be providing them with fares and ancillaries from one of the highest profile low cost carriers in the world and a very important one in this region.”