Budget airline Ryanair is to pursue Hertz for breach of contract and damages after the car hire group terminated its partnership with the carrier.
The sudden move means Ryanair will be unable to offer passengers a car hire services over its website while it seeks for a replacement provider.
According to a statement from the Dublin-based airline, Hertz claims it was in breach of contract due to its use of third-party booking services, a claim that Ryanair said it disputes as it has been selling tickets through so-called global distribution systems since April 2014 “with Hertz’s knowledge and support”.
The carrier’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said: “We regret Hertz’s decision to end our car hire agreement at such short notice, 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.
“We have instructed our lawyers to issue proceedings against Hertz for breach of contract. In the meantime we look forward to entering into discussions with other car hire suppliers.”
The move came as Ryanair said its efforts to improve customer service helped to propel passenger numbers sharply higher last month.
Traffic soared 14 per cent to 9.5 million customers, while its load factor – a measure of how full its planes were – increased to 93 per cent, up from 88 per cent a year ago.