The Hertz Corporation has said that, despite lengthy discussions regarding a contractual dispute, it has ended its car hire agreement with Ryanair.
The rental giant alleges Ryanair’s agreement with GDS distribution companies represents a breach of contract, a claim Ryanair disputes.
Hertz moved quickly to reassure customers existing bookings will be fully honoured and that future bookings can be made directly at the Hertz, Thrifty and Firefly websites.
Michel Taride, group president of Hertz International, commented: “We have enjoyed many years of a successful relationship with Ryanair, but unfortunately we were not able to reach agreement with the airline over a significant contractual dispute in spite of considerable effort.
“The majority of Ryanair passengers who need car hire from the Hertz brands in July and August are already booked and confirmed.
“Any customer who wishes to book car rental and enjoy great service at competitive rates can make arrangements directly with us.”
Customers can also modify existing bookings on the Ryanair website.
Ryanair confirmed it would pursue Hertz for breach of contract and damages.
In the interim, however, the airline said it would be unable to offer customers car hire services through the Ryanair.com website.
The situation is likely to persist for a period of three months while Ryanair seeks a suitable replacement supplier.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “We regret Hertz’s decision to end our car hire agreement at such short notice today, at a time that will cause maximum inconvenience to our customers during the peak travel period.
“We have had a long and successful partnership with Hertz, and it’s a pity that this has ended in such an unfortunate and untimely manner.
He added: “We hope it will not cause too much inconvenience to our customers while we take a few months to identify and agree a suitable replacement provider who wishes to partner with Ryanair during the coming five year period of rapid traffic growth.”
Separately Ryanair will, by close of play today, issue a request for proposals for the provision of car hire services to Ryanair’s customer base.
The airline said it would expect to have a replacement supplier linked to the Ryanair.com website by October 2015 which will coincide with the launch of Ryanair’s new and radically improved personalised website and mobile app.
Taride added: “Hertz deeply values all of its partnerships, some which have been going for more than 20 years.
“We strongly believe in mutually beneficial partnerships and would never take lightly the decision to end a key relationship.
“We are confident in our legal position and intend to pursue this matter vigorously through the courts.”