Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s president and leader in low-cost travel in Europe, said airfares are likely to rise over the next five years as flights become “too cheap” to turn a profit compared to expected increases in flights. sector costs. His warning came in days of soaring ticket prices, which soared in Europe and the United States after travel reopened after the pandemic collapsed. As a result, some airlines have reduced their services due to staff shortages.
Ryanair, low-cost flights in danger?
“It has become very cheap compared to its cost,” O’Leary told the Financial Times. “I find it ridiculous that every time I travel to Stansted, a train journey into central London is more expensive than a plane ticket,” said O’Leary. From high oil prices and environmental fees to Ryanair paying an average fare of €40 to €50-60 over the medium term O’Leary has also criticized the UK government and what he called the Brexit “disaster”, which has prevented airlines from hiring European workers easily, exacerbating the staff shortage this summer. “This is without a doubt one of the inevitable consequences of the catastrophe of Brexit,” he said, adding: “Withdrawing from the single market, just to say: We have done Brexit.” European, it was the height of stupidity.”
Canceled flights, strikes and harassment
His words come as airlines prepare to announce a new wave of cancellations scheduled for next week. On Thursday and Friday, Heathrow passengers complained of long queues, flight cancellations, lost baggage due to “schedule interference” and disruptions at UK airports, exacerbated by strikes in Spain. O’Leary is one of the first airline chiefs to prepare customers for higher fares in the long run. The Irish airline had capped most of its future fuel needs for the remainder of the year at $65 a barrel before Russia invaded Ukraine, saving it from the worst effects of a sharp price hike.
Rising costs: oil and gas
However, the Ryanair chief believes tariffs will rise further as he expects oil prices to remain “structurally higher” for the next four to five years, “until we can move away from Russian oil and gas.” He added that he expects broader inflationary pressures on the airline industry next year, including staff costs and air traffic control fees, and also highlights increased environmental burdens. Ryanair was the only major airline in Europe that avoided disruption due to staff shortages. EasyJet revealed last month that it rejected 8,000 applicants because of their citizenship, most of them from the European Union. Meanwhile, Britain’s Department for Transport said there was unrest around the world due to staff shortages.