Google's price-comparison tool for airline tickets to launch in March - with Ryanair's help
Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary is working with Google on a new tool that will streamline the way consumers search for and buy airline tickets.
O'Leary told the Sunday Independent newspaper that he's "running out of road" when it comes to being the face of Ryanair, though his partnership with Google will revolutionise airline ticket buying.
"There are some very exciting developments with Google, where we have been working with them on sharing the pricing," O'Leary said. "We'll be sharing the Ryanair pricing through all of the Google outlets, so when you go in, there'll be route selections, cheapest prices and so on."
Google's price-comparison tool will allegedly present a swathe of available fares, without any bias, and then it'll allow whoever is conducting the search to just select their preference and click straight through to the airline.
Google is developing the tool with Ryanair's help, though it appears Ryanair is only contributing data. The notoriously prudent airline has admitted it is not financing the project in anyway.
"Because Google, being Google, want to show all of the prices from all of the airlines on display. They don't want to charge us, they make all of their money out of advertising," explained O'Leary.
"They don't want to have a limited or biased search. They want to be able to say they've screened all of these airlines on all of the routes."
The price-comparison tool is expected to launch toward the end of March. It will "blow comparison sites like Skyscanner out of the water", according to O'Leary, who also predicted a technology shift for Ryanair and rivals as the emerging trend of mobile commerce becomes a mainstay in Europe.
"It's all going to move to digital and mobile," explained O'Leary. "In five years' time, everyone on Ryanair will be paying on their mobile. You'll pay for your drinks and snacks with your mobile. You'll upgrade to priority boarding on your mobile."