Ryanair has asked four major European airlines to display each other's fares online in a bid to cut out third-party price comparison websites. As Grace Pascoe reports it follows an increase in the budget airline's annual passenger growth target.
Positive results at Ryanair. The Irish airline's quarterly profits are up 25 percent year on year to 245 million euros. That should mean full-year figures at the upper end of its forecast. It's largely thanks to strong summer bookings. Passenger numbers are expected to top 103 million this year up from 90.6 million last year. Aside from profits, Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary wants to cut out price-comparison sites. To do so he's asked four of his major European rivals to display each other's fares online. But Darren Sinden of Admiral Markets thinks they may not want to. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ADMIRAL MARKETS MARKET COMMENTATOR, DARREN SINDEN, SAYING: "Competing on price beyond the standard low cost airline models is probably more of a publicity gesture from Mr. O'Leary than a sensible business strategy, in what is an increasingly competitive airline environment. Probably of more concern would be the more traditional carriers, the likes of Air France KLM who are struggling, well they basically don't want additional competition on competing routes." Low fuel prices means Ryanair can pass on some savings to its passengers. Fares in the winter months will be slashed by up to 8 percent. Less planes will be grounded and Ryanair hopes to fill 90 percent of seats compared with 88 percent last year. But competitors may respond aggressively - raising the prospect of a price war.