Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary warns of holiday price hikes

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has warned flight prices will be higher this summer (Nick Potts/PA)
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has warned flight prices will be higher this summer (Nick Potts/PA)

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has warned flight prices could rise by nearly 10% this summer due to soaring demand for European holidays.

He said holidaymakers should brace for prices to rise by a “high single-digit per cent” over the peak season as demand for breaks on European beach resorts rebounds thanks to the lifting of pandemic travel restrictions.

The budget airline’s chief executive also said there were likely to be ongoing delays at airports, blaming staff shortages.

Mr O’Leary said there are “pinch-points” in particular at Heathrow and Manchester, where he claimed “too many people” have been sacked.

He added he hoped to see the worst of the delays ease off in time for the busy summer season, but stressed it would still be a “challenge” for passengers getting through UK airports.

The comments came as Ryanair reported annual underlying losses narrowing to 355 million euros (£302 million) and said it hopes to return to “reasonable profitability” in the current financial year.

But it cautioned that despite a bounce back in passengers and bookings, the recovery “remains fragile”.

Mr O’Leary’s comments mark the latest pricing alert ahead of the peak season, after holiday giant Tui last week said it would not be offering last-minute, low-price deals this summer due to a recovery in customer demand.

Ryanair signalled prices would ramp up over the next few months in the sector due to a cut of about 15% in European flight programmes across the sector over the summer.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “For the September-quarter at the moment, based on about 50% of all bookings, we expect prices will be up high single digit per cent.

“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.”

The group said its peak fares for this summer may rise above those seen before the pandemic struck.

The group’s loss for the year to March 31 was smaller than expected and narrowed from the 1.02 billion euros (£867 million) losses seen the previous year, when trading was badly impacted by the pandemic.

It saw demand recover strongly as it carried 97.1 million passengers, up from just 27.5 million the year before thanks to the lifting of pandemic restrictions.

The group hopes to boost this further to 165 million passengers this year – ahead of the 149 million record level seen pre-Covid – but said that it was still having to slash prices in its first quarter to secure bookings amid ongoing uncertainty.

Mr O’Leary said it was “impractical, if not impossible” to give profit guidance for 2022-23 due to the risk to holiday bookings from Covid and the Ukraine war.

He revealed that news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine cost it around one million bookings at the end of February and the beginning of March.

The carrier also cautioned over rising fuel costs due to soaring oil prices amid the Ukraine war.

With a fifth of its expected fuel needs not already secured in advance, this “will give rise to some unbudgeted cost increases”, the group said.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]