Ryanair is about to embark on its first foray into
in an attempt to engage more business customers.
The budget airline has shunned established social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn in favour of developing its own online travel community hosted on ryanair.com.
The new content is set to launch in the coming month and hopes to build incremental revenues for the airline by offering ad spaces to local businesses on the site and confirmation pages. Ryanair recently began selling advertising on boarding passes.
Content on new community will include a flight comparison engine and a commercial tie-up with travel specialist Frommer’s. Users will be able to post comments on recommendations and attractions.
Ryanair’s online manager Aileen O’Mahony said, “We’re flying to more places so this a way to entice local businesses to come onto the site and grow online with us.”
Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara explained why the airline has previously avoided third-party social networking, “We don’t have people sitting around to answer questions. With social media you get any and every query and a lot of rubbish, like people asking if they can bring a 10kg bag, which of course you can. The information is there on our site.”