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Ryanair lands first deal with online travel agent

(Sharecast News) - Ryanair Holdings said on Tuesday that it has signed a deal with Loveholidays, despite branding online travel agents "pirates".

Under the deal, customers will be able to buy Ryanair flights, seats and bags as part of a Loveholidays package.

The partnership, Ryanair's first with an online travel agent, is a change in direction for the Irish carrier, which has long accused the sector of "pirate scams" such as marking up flight prices and hidden charges.

In turn, online agents - which vehemently deny Ryanair's claims - have complained about the carrier's treatment of their customers, including far more stringent processes to manage bookings or check-in online.

In December a number of sites, including Booking.com and Kayak, suddenly stopped selling Ryanair flights, forcing the carrier to cut fares and warn of empty seats.

Ryanair spokesperson Dara Brad said the agreement with Loveholidays meant customers could now book "with the guarantee they will not be overcharged for flights, bags or seats, they will receive flight updates directly form Ryanair and will also have direct access to their booking through their myRyanair account".

Al Murray, chief marketing officer at Loveholidays, said: "This new partnership highlights our commitment to championing consumer choice, with the overall aim of making travel more affordable and accessible."

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