Italian court rejects claim that Ryanair abuses dominant market position

Airline welcomes finding on travel agents’ appeal against its practice of selling tickets direct to customers

An Italian court has rejected claims that Ryanair abuses its market position by exclusively selling tickets to its customers.

Rejecting the claims by online travel agents, Lastminute and Viaggiare, the court said the airline’s approach allowed it to offer competitive fares by cutting out the cost of intermediaries.

It also allowed Ryanair maintain direct communication with customers to provide them with updated information on their flights. “No harm to users, therefore, was established,” said the court.

Ryanair welcomed the ruling, the latest in a series of court battles it has fought with online travel agents, who the airline accuses of unlawfully scraping its fares and overcharging for tickets and extras.


Dara Brady, director of marketing, digital and communications, said the ruling established that Ryanair’s distribution system was pro-consumer.

“Online travel agents have for years relied upon screenscrapers, fake customer accounts, single-use payment cards and fake customer email addresses to make bookings on Ryanair’s website in breach of the terms of use,” Mr Brady said.

He said that this caused customers huge inconvenience and expense. He noted that Ryanair encouraged customers to book directly through its website or mobile app.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas