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Ryanair to work with Google in bid to revolutionise cheap flight searches


Death of Skyscanner? Ryanair boss O'Leary said the airline is working with internet giant Google to partner on a new flight comparison project

Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary has revealed that the low cost airline is working on a partnership with Google, which will see travellers able to compare flight prices directly on the internet search engine giant.

In an interview with the Sunday Independent newspaper, the controversial airline boss said the new project was expected to go live in spring 2014 and would completely change the way passengers search for and buy their tickets.

There are some very exciting developments with Google, where we have been working with them on sharing the pricing,’ he said.

‘We’ll be sharing the Ryanair pricing through all of the Google outlets, so when you go in, there’ll be route selections, cheapest prices and so on. Google are developing a price-comparison thing themselves.

They want to launch with us and we’re working with them on that kind of product.’

O’Leary said the product would potentially ‘blow comparison sites like Skyscanner out of the water.’

Skyscanner responded by saying the company was focused on ‘ensuring we are giving our customers the best global coverage of flights internationally.’

A spokesperson added: ‘We have spent many years developing the proprietary technology to enable us to offer our customers a best in class flight search tool and we believe we offer the most comprehensive global flight coverage that is both free and unbiased.’

Meanwhile, O’Leary also hinted that his role at Ryanair might change, saying he was ‘running out of road’ as the public face of the airline.

Google are not seeking financial help from Ryanair to fund the price-comparison section, merely data, O’Leary added.

‘Because Google, being Google, want to show all of the prices from all of the airlines on display. They don’t want to charge us, they make all of their money out of advertising.’

‘They don’t want to have a limited or biased search. They want to be able to say they’ve screened all of these airlines on all of the routes.

‘They need to find who has got the lowest airfare on these routes… and that’s us.’

Low cost rival easyJet declined to comment on whether they might also be involved with a Google flight comparison tool.

Ryanair’s top man also heralded the advent of mobile technology, saying passengers would soon use their phones to pay for everything.

‘In five years’ time, everyone on Ryanair will be paying on their mobile. You’ll pay for your drinks and snacks with your mobile. You’ll upgrade to priority boarding on your mobile.’

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