Ryanair chief executive Eddie Wilson said UK holidays will be “forgotten about” once overseas holiday hotspots such as Spain and Greece reopen again. However, he said the airline hopes to ramp up connectivity to make tourism across the country more accessible if the UK Government reduces Air Passenger Duty (APD).
The APD tax is added onto passenger tickets, but if removed could cut the cost for the airline and subsequently the passenger themselves.
The exact cost of the tax varies depending on a few factors such as the destination, seat pitch, aircraft type and class of travel.
Mr Wilson, speaking in an online interview with Routes Online, said he had “heard rumours” that the British government was considering a cut in the tax.
“We’ve heard some rumours that they are going to cut the tax or cut it in half, and certainly we would look at that in conjunction with the CAA,” he said.
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“We don’t have the infrastructure in Ireland and the UK for staycations,” Mr Wilson stated.
“If the product was that good, there would be lots of inbound traffic.
“There isn’t lots of inbound traffic.”
As things stand in terms of domestic connectivity, Mr Wilson said most tourists who visit the UK “go to London and you try and drag them up to see Stratford-upon-Avon for Shakespeare or whatever [but] that’s about as far as they go”.
It comes as Ryanair announces plans to launch a new process to protect passengers against heightened costs it says are often touted by Online Travel Agents (OTA).
Ryanair’s director of marketing, Dara Brady, said: “We’re pleased to launch our new ‘Price Checker’ and ‘Verified Seal’ on the Ryanair.com website and app.
“These two new features will help customers avoid the pitfalls of booking with online travel agents, who may overcharge, provide incorrect customers information and prevent Ryanair from dealing directly with the passenger.
“The new ‘Verified Seal’ symbol – displayed as a branded tick and visible on Ryanair.com or Ryanair app only – is to safeguard the customer by providing them with a simple identifier to ensure they know they are booking their flights directly with Ryanair and not through an Online Travel Agent.”
He added: Ryanair has no commercial agreements with online travel agencies (OTA’s) to sell Ryanair flights.
“Any screen scraping of our website www.ryanair.com, in particular for the commercial purpose of a re-sale of our flights, is strictly prohibited under our terms and conditions.
“We advise our customers to always book directly through the Ryanair website and Ryanair app where they will have access to the lowest fares, direct Customer Care and speedy refunds.”