Aviation

Ryanair boss says passengers face years of rising fares

Are airline tickets getting too cheap? In an almost ironic way, Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary seems to think that the current cheap carrier the model is unsustainable in the coming years.

Sky-high prices

Speaking to the Financial Times over the weekend, O’Leary warned that airfares are rising as the aviation industry faces soaring fuel prices and gradual increases in sustainability fees in the wake of the pandemic. O’Leary noted that the average fare price for a Ryanair passenger is likely to jump by 50% to around €60 by 2025, reflecting the sharp increase in costs associated with flying.

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“It’s too cheap for what it is. I find it absurd every time I fly into Stansted that the train to central London costs more than the plane ticket.” he said.

“I do not believe that air travel is sustainable in the medium term with an average fare of 40 euros. At the same time, it is too cheap. But I think, you know, it’s still going to be very cheap and affordable – 50 and 60 euros.”

Average fares from London to Europe’s Mediterranean hot spots rose sharply last year, but remain lower than fares in 2012, according to data compiled by Kayak.com and the newspaper.

The airline’s cost-cutting measures have ensured low prices until 2022 insured its fuel at $65 a barrel before Russia invaded Ukraine; however, O’Leary believes fuel prices can be expected to remain “structurally higher” into the late 2020s as the industry moves away from Russian oil and gas.

Shortage of personnel?

O’Leary also took the opportunity to decry the treatment of the British government Brexitdiscussing the disastrous consequences that prevented airlines from recruiting European workers, prolonging the industry-wide staffing shortage that was tormenting carriers and airports for months.


O’Leary also took the opportunity to criticize the UK government, discussing the “disastrous” Brexit deal that has stopped airlines from recruiting European workers.

“This is undoubtedly one of the inevitable consequences of the disaster that is Brexit,” O’Leary added. “Leaving the single market just so they could say ‘We did Brexit’ was the height of idiocy. But then they are idiots.’

The Irish low-cost carrier expects fares to rise by 50% in the next five years. Photo: Zagreb Airport

A low-cost colleague in June EasyJet reflected those sentiments, p CEO Johan Lundgren blames the UK’s exit from the European Union for staff shortages in an interview with The Independent.

“Bringing people together is smaller, it’s just math. We had to turn away a lot of EU citizens because of Brexit. Before the pandemic, we would have given up 2-2.5% because of nationality. Now it’s 35-40%.” Lundgren told The Independent.

Ryanair was one of the few major European airlines to avoid staff shortages by returning to operations after the pandemic. The carrier has retained a significant portion of its crew through 2020 and 2021, opting to cut pay instead of roles. However, active staff have not been idle, with the airline keeping its teams in the air to be “ready to rock and roll” once demand returns.

O’Leary refused to belittle his competitors’ decisions through the pandemic, preferring instead to empathize with the state of the industry, noting, “I have a lot of sympathy and I would not criticize the competing airlines. Getting through Covid was incredibly difficult.”

The UK government is working to minimize disruption at the country’s airports through the predicted busy summer season. On Sunday, the Secretary of Transportation Grant Shapps announced legislation to speed up security checks, allowing new hires to settle into their roles more quickly.

What do you think of O’Leary’s recent comments? Have you noticed that airline ticket prices are going up? Let us know in the comments.

Sources: The Financial Times, Bloomberg, The Independent

https://simpleflying.com/ryanair-chief-says-passengers-face-years-of-rising-ticket-fees/ Ryanair boss says passengers face years of rising fares

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