Ryanair boss warns airfares will rise for next five years

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Ryanair boss Micheal O’Leary said fares would continue to rise to cope with rising fuel prices and environmental taxes

The cost of international flights has become “too cheap” and is likely to rise in price over the next five years, Ryanair’s chief executive said.

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Michael O’Leary said costs must continue to rise to keep up with rising fuel prices and environmental taxes.

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The warning comes as ticket prices have skyrocketed across Europe and the US as passengers returned after Covid lockdowns and some airlines reduced capacity due to staff shortages.

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What did Michael O’Leary say?

According to a US study, air fares rose 18% in April 202 – the biggest increase in 59 years – but Mr O’Leary said costs are still “too low”.

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“I find it absurd every time I fly to Stansted that the train to central London is more expensive than the flight.

“It was my doing [taking prices so low]. I made a lot of money doing this.

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“But ultimately I don’t think air travel at an average price of €40 (£34) is sustainable in the medium term.

“It’s too cheap for that. But I think, you know, it’s still going to be very cheap and affordable at 50 and 60 euros.”

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Mr O’Leary also said that “the disaster of Brexit” has prevented airlines from easily recruiting European workers.

He added: “This is undoubtedly one of the inevitable consequences of the disaster that was Brexit.

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“Withdrawing from the single market just so they could say ‘We did Brexit’ was the height of idiocy. But then they are idiots.”

It comes after Mr O’Leary said in April that the era of cheap flights was “not ending”.

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Back then, he told RTE, an Irish broadcaster, the country needed low-cost air travel for its tourism industry.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told Sky News: “Airports and airlines laid off many people after the furlough scheme ended.

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“Maybe they didn’t anticipate people’s desire to leave the country.

“It is important that airlines can be confident that flights can be delivered and that passengers know in good time if their flights are being cancelled.”

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