(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 16th May 2022) London, Uk – –
Plane ticket prices will rise this summer due to high demand for European beach holidays, Ryanair has said.
Airline boss Michael O'Leary said he expects prices for flights to rise by a “high single-digit per cent”.
He said the airline's lower fares were currently driving an increase in passenger numbers, helping the company's recovery from the pandemic.
He said he hoped the airline would return to “reasonable profitability” in its current financial year.
The firm reported annual losses of €355m (£302m) on Monday, saying its recovery from Covid restrictions being lifted had been impacted by the Omicron variant and the war in Ukraine.
The conflict in Ukraine has driven up global oil prices with concerns supplies from Russia, a major exporter of fossil fuels and jet fuel, could be disrupted.
The group's loss for the year to 31 March was smaller than expected and narrowed from the €1.02bn (£867m) losses seen the previous year.
‘So much demand'
Mr O'Leary said he expected prices to be lower up to June compared to pre-pandemic levels, but added “based on about 50% of all bookings, we expect prices will be up high single-digit per cent” over the Summer.
“It seems to us that there will be higher prices into that peak summer period because there's so much demand for the beaches of Europe and those price rises going to continue,” told the BBC's Today programme.
“I think prices will be low next winter. But it's too early to say, there's clearly going to be an economic downturn, there's some fear of recession and in a recession the lowest-cost provider, which in the UK and in Europe is Ryanair, will do better, but will do better because we can sustain lower prices.”
In its results the airline stated customers were still booking their trips later than usual and said the “booking curve” looked more like pre-Covid times.
Ryanair said traffic recovered strongly as it carried 97.1 million guests, up from just 27.5 million the year before thanks to the lifting of pandemic restrictions.
It said it hopes to boost this further to 165 million passengers this year – ahead of the 149 million record level seen pre-Covid.
Elsewhere, Holiday giant Tui has said it expects summer bookings to “almost reach” 2019 levels this year, but warned there will be “no last minute” deals.
“There will be practically no last minute offers at low prices this summer,” said Fritz Joussen, Tui's chief executive.
Mr O'Leary said he hoped to see “pinch points” at UK airports such as Manchester or Heathrow eliminated by the end of June in time for the peak summer period.
He said: “There's no doubt I think getting through airports this summer is going to be challenging and we're encouraging all of our customers to show up earlier and allow more time to get through airport security”.
However he claimed this was less the case at other airports Ryanair uses, such as Glasgow, Stansted, and Bristol.
He said Ryanair didn't face the same recruitment challenges as some competitors because it had kept people on.
Ryanair asked staff to take pay cuts during the pandemic to avoid job losses.