THE Ryanair boss has warned flights to Europe could cost more this summer.
Michael O’Leary said high demand for European beach holidays could increase by “single-digit percentages”.
Many Britons are preparing for their first summer abroad since the Covid outbreak, hoping bookings will gradually recover to 2019 levels.
However, Mr O’Leary has said that demand could cause prices to rise.
He told BBC Radio 4 Today: “It seems to us that there will be higher prices at this peak summer time because there is so much demand for Europe’s beaches and these price increases will continue.
“I think prices will be low next winter. But it’s still too early to say that there will clearly be an economic downturn, there is some fear of a recession and in a recession the cheapest carrier which is the UK and Europe Ryanair will do better but perform better because we can maintain lower prices.”
Ryanair has become known for its low fares and Mr O’Leary said this has in part led to a surge in passenger numbers and helped the company recover from the pandemic.
The CEO added he hopes the company will return to “reasonable profitability” in the current fiscal year.
The airline reported a loss of £302m on Monday and said its recovery from Covid has been hampered by the Omicron variant and the war in Ukraine.
The loss was less than last year’s total loss of £867m.
Mr O’Leary also told the BBC he hopes “pinch points” at UK airports such as Manchester or Heathrow will be removed by the end of June in time for the summer peak season.
He said: “There is no doubt that getting through airports this summer will be challenging and we encourage all our customers to show up earlier and allow more time to get through airport security.”
Brits have been stuck in huge queues at UK airports in recent weeks due to Covid staffing shortages.
Some passengers had to wait for hours at security, while others even missed their flight.
Kully Sandhu, chief executive of Aviation Recruitment Network, warned that it “could take at least the next 12 months for the industry to settle down in terms of vacancies.”
He said it wasn’t just Covid causing problems in hiring new staff, which he said there were more than 300 vacancies at UK airports, but also Brexit.
Other airlines are also affected by Covid staff shortages.
EasyJet will eliminate a number of seats on its flights to allow the airline to fly with fewer crews on board over the next few months.
And British Airways is due to cancel 16,000 flights, with 10 per cent of flights between March and autumn affected.
https://www.thesun.ie/travel/8805525/ryanair-flights-cheaper-europe/ Ryanair boss warns flights to Europe will cost MORE this summer