Are low-cost flights low cost?

For weeks, the airline industry has faced serious staff shortage problems, mostly due to layoffs in the past two years to deal with the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. These are problems that affect all companies, from the largest to the smallest, but in the coming months they could have special repercussions for the so-called low cost, Those that offer very low prices, other than somewhat discounted services.

The main consequence of the staff shortage is that every day airlines are forced to cancel hundreds of flights, leaving thousands of passengers stranded, often without warning or without any announcement. The situation may get worse in the coming weeks, which is already very critical, as the influx of tourists traveling for the summer holidays is expected to increase.

The world’s major airlines do not seem to have found a solution at the moment: they are trying to speed up the processes of hiring new staff to make up for the missing, but this is not a simple matter and it is not clear whether the situation will stabilize by the end of the year.

Complicating everything is the increase in fuel and energy prices, which lasted for several months and which has only intensified since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, the largest airline, recently spoke about this problem and the implications it could have in the future. low cost From Europe.

According to O’Leary, the crisis that the aviation sector is going through, along with inflation and rising operating costs, will force all airlines to increase ticket prices. This is an increase that O’Leary says will affect airlines in particular low cost That in the future they will not be able to offer very low and affordable prices as they have done so far.

– Read also: The success of “premium economy” on planes

“It has become so cheap. I find it ridiculous that every time I fly to Stansted (London airport where Ryanair is, so), traveling by train to central London is more expensive than traveling by plane,” O’Leary said financial times.

O’Leary’s statements seemed surprising to many commentators, considering the fact that Ryanair was the airline low cost Which has always focused more than anything else on its cheapness.

Somehow, if what O’Leary says happens, it will end an era in the airline industry, where millions of people were able to fly for a few dozen dollars. “It was my job [offrire viaggi aerei a buon mercato]. I made a lot of money doing this. But in the end, I do not think that in the medium term, travel at a cost of 40 euros can be sustainable. “It’s very cheap,” O’Leary said, adding that average prices in the future could go up to around €50 or €60.

O’Leary’s comments are even more surprising when you consider that Ryanair is not among the companies that have laid off a large number of workers during the pandemic, and therefore in recent weeks it has suffered less than others from the crisis due to staff shortages. However, O’Leary did not want to criticize companies that decided to lay off their employees during the pandemic, such as British Airways, EasyJet and Lufthansa, and said he understood their decisions made at such a difficult time.

– Read also: There are more and more canceled flights across Europe

Leave a Comment