EasyJet holidays boss: Why we won’t offer agents price parity

EasyJet holidays price parity
By Linsey McNeill
01/11/2023
Home » EasyJet holidays boss: Why we won’t offer agents price parity

EasyJet holidays CEO Garry Wilson reaffirmed the operator’s commitment to travel agents during the ABTA Travel Convention, telling delegates trade sales had ‘far exceeded’ his expectations.

He admitted that it was ‘never strategically part of easyJet holidays’ plan’ to sell packages via agents, but since it launched its trade portal in 2020 trade sales have grown to around 20% of its overall business.

Agent bookings are expected to continue to rise in line with easyJet holidays’ overall growth in the next 12 months, when easyJet holidays aims to carry 700,000 more customers than in 2023, he said.

However, Garry later told Travel Gossip that the operator has no plans to offer agents price parity, which has been a bone of contention with retailers who have sometimes complained that they can’t compete with easyJet holidays’ online prices.

“Over 70% of the time our holidays are cheaper than our competitors’ and this is something we are really focused on,” said Garry.  “If we were to look at price parity for agents then, with the increased cost of us selling through agents, that would potentially have an impact on price.

“Agents are telling us that they are happy [without price parity] because they can explain to their customers that they’re paying for the service they’re offering.

“And I’m not sure how much cross-over there is between our direct customers and those who book via travel agents as often customers who go to a travel agent aren’t aware easyJet sells holidays.”

Commercial Director Paul Bixby said that rather than offering price parity, easyJet holidays is supporting agents in other ways, including turn-of-year joint marketing campaigns with various agency groups, and an expansion of its trade team.

It has recruited a fourth Trade Distribution Manager from within the company, who joins the team this month, and a further two will be appointed next year.

Paul also promised more fam trips for agents. “I am a massive advocate of fam trips and we will continue with those next year.”

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