July 27, 2015 / 6:45 AM / 4 years ago

Ryanair asks rivals to help cut out price-comparison sites

DUBLIN, July 27 (Reuters) - 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, Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said on Monday.

Ryanair’s fares are displayed by airfare price comparison websites such as Google Flights and Expedia and competes with them by offering hotels and car hire on its own website.

O’Leary did not say which airlines he had contacted, but he has in the past referred to Ryanair, IAG, Air-France KLM, easyJet and Lufthansa as Europe’s “Big Five”. He said he expected a response soon.

“I think it is something the big airlines could and should work together on because I think it makes no sense for third-party price comparison websites out there,” O’Leary said in a video statement.

“If the airlines were competitive and had a competent digital offering. Those kind of websites shouldn’t exist.”

O’Leary said that even when Ryanair has the lowest fares, it often has no available seats, so potential passengers would be directed to flight offers from rivals. (Reporting by Conor Humphries; editing by Jason Neely)

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