Like nothing happened – On The Beach and Ryanair are friends again


Manchester based online travel agent On the Beach (OTB) has signed a long-term distribution agreement with its nemesis Ryanair.

The deal appears to end the ongoing feud between the Irish airline and its colourful founder Michael O’Leary, who referred to On the Beach as “pirates” even after the conclusion of an often bitter two year court case in October 2023 which found in favour of the travel agent.

The case was brought by OTB after it took action against Ryanair regarding refunds to its customers during the pandemic, when the travel industry was severely impacted by restrictions and lockdowns.

But the agreement announced to the stock market this morning represents a “transformational shift” in On The Beach’s relationship with what it now describes as “its most significant low cost carrier”. 

Customers will be able to access Ryanair’s flights as part of a holiday packages with full price transparency, whilst continuing to benefit from OTB’s flexible payment plans, customer perks (including free lounge and fast track), and ATOL protection said a statement. 

Shaun Morton, chief executive of On the Beach Group plc said:  “We are excited to have entered into this transformational partnership with Ryanair. This will improve the booking and travel experience for our customers selecting Ryanair flights, while ensuring we can continue to provide customers with best value package holidays. 

“We will continue our campaign to safeguard consumer choice in the travel sector and the signing of this agreement marks a significant milestone in On the Beach’s journey, as we strive to do the best for our customers. Importantly, this agreement enables both parties to move on from outstanding litigation and we look forward to working closely with our new partner.”

Ryanair’s Dara Brady, who as recently as 9 February 2024 described On The Beach as “No 1 pirate” said this morning: “Ryanair is pleased to announce our latest partnership with leading OTA, On the Beach. This new deal will see Ryanair partner with its fourth approved OTA partner. On the Beach customers can now book Ryanair flights, seats, and bags as part of their holiday package with the guarantee that they will have full price transparency of Ryanair products (without any overcharges), and that they will receive any information regarding their flight directly from Ryanair as well as having direct access to their booking through their myRyanair account.”

O’Leary on the offensive

Ryanair had claimed that On The Beach was “overcharging customers by a rapacious 117% (£125) for a flight change fee that costs just £45 on,” and said it would campaign for consumers to be protected from overcharging and named On The Beach,, eDreams, Opodo and

For its part On The Beach’s Shaun Morton called for “fair play” and asked the UK’s Competition Market Authority (CMA) to “investigate airlines” like Ryanair.