Ryanair threatens to drop Expedia from its website

14 Oct 2008

A row over payment terms has led to Europe’s leading airline Ryanair telling online travel giant Expedia it will drop its hotel reservations service from the airline’s website in 30 days.

Expedia is one of the world’s largest travel and accommodation booking systems and was once owned by Microsoft.

Today, Ryanair has told Expedia that its hotel contract will end following Expedia’s failure to honour payment terms.

Ryanair entered into the agreement with Expedia’s parent company Travelscape LLC in March last year.

The agreement gave Expedia exclusive rights to sell hotel accommodation to Ryanair’s 58 million passengers via the airline’s website.

The contract is understood to have operated satisfactorily in the opening stages.

However, in recent months Ryanair said Expedia breached a number of its payment obligations and failed to make regular payments.

“Ryanair offered Expedia the unique opportunity to exclusively access its 58 million passengers through Europe’s largest travel website, Ryanair.com,” Ryanair’s Michael Cawley explained.

“Regrettably, Expedia has failed to honour key obligations under this agreement, in particular its payment terms, and our attempts in recent months to get Expedia to resolve these breaches have failed, so we now have no alternative but to give them notice.”

Cawley said Ryanair has received approaches from a number of other hotel providers across Europe, and expects to have a replacement partner up and running before the end of the year.

“Should Expedia remedy its breach within the 30-day period, Ryanair will continue the partnership,” Cawley said.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years