A PYMNTS Company

Ryanair to Amplify Italian Presence Despite Antitrust Issues

 |  April 17, 2024

Ryanair, the Irish budget airline, has announced its intentions to strengthen its market leadership in Italy, despite facing recent regulatory challenges. The airline’s ambition includes potential acquisition of slots at Rome’s Fiumicino airport, contingent on the merger between Lufthansa and ITA Airways.

At a press conference in Rome, Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, highlighted the airline’s ongoing dispute with Italy’s antitrust authority, AGCM. The contention arose from Ryanair’s limitations on the sale of its tickets by travel agencies, including a clash with the Spanish online travel agency eDreams.

Related: RyanAir To Appeal Italian Antitrust Fine

The AGCM has mandated Ryanair to cease its restrictive practices against travel agencies, a move that Ryanair vehemently opposes. O’Leary, demonstrating his protest with a placard stating “Stop OTA Pirates, Protect Passengers,” announced plans to appeal any adverse ruling by the AGCM. Ryanair is also preparing to file a counter-complaint against eDreams, accusing it of misleading customers with a Prime membership service that promises non-existent discounts.

eDreams has responded to the controversy by condemning Ryanair’s tactics, labeling them as aggressive and indicative of the airline’s anti-competitive behavior.

As the dispute unfolds, Ryanair remains confident in its legal position and is set to meet with the AGCM to discuss the matter further.

Source: XM