Google is working on a top secret travel price comparison service, the Irish Independent reports.
The company will partner with Irish budget airline Ryanair, according to the report, and the service will go live in late March.
“There are some very exciting developments with Google, where we have been working with them on sharing the pricing,” Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary told the Irish Independent. O’Leary added that the goal is to blow rival sites like Skyscanner “out of the water.”
“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,” he said. O’Leary said Ryanair won’t be providing any funding for the scheme.
Presumably, Google will need to stake out partnerships with other major airline providers in Europe. Ryanair competes with EasyJet, Monarch, and a host of other cheap flight providers. To be truly effective in Europe, the search giant will also need to partner with rail services and ferries.
Google Flight Search has been around since 2011 when the company acquired ITA. However, it has not been widely used as it lacks travel information from some of the largest flight providers. The service originally launched in March of 2013 — without the support of European budget airlines like Ryanair.
If O’Leary isn’t exaggerating claims, Google seems set on a major relaunch of its flight search service in Europe.
We have reached out to Google for comment, and will update you when we learn more.