The Age Of €10 Flights Is No More, Says Ryanair CEO O’Leary

Ryanair’s chief has revealed that the budget airline will no longer offer flights at rock-bottom costs due to the rising cost of fuel. The age of the €10 ticket, according to CEO Michael O’Leary, is ended.

He told the BBC that the airline’s average cost would jump from from €40 last year to around €50 over the next five years. Despite the increased expense of living, he believes people will continue to fly regularly.

“There’s no doubt that at the lower end of the marketplace, our really cheap promotional fares – the one euro fares, the €0.99 fares, even the €9.99 fares – I think you will not see those fares for the next number of years,” O’Leary told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

The surge in fuel prices, which is rising plane fares, is also raising domestic energy expenses, reducing people’s discretionary cash. Despite this, the airline’s CEO stated that he expects consumers to seek out lower-cost alternatives rather than cut back on flights.

“We think people will continue to fly frequently. But I think people are going to become much more price sensitive and therefore my view of life is that people will trade down in their many millions.”

As airfares have gotten more affordable in recent decades, the number of flights taken has increased, with more individuals taking short trips overseas in addition to their annual vacation. Ryanair, Easyjet, Vueling, and Wizz Air have all battled to provide low-cost, no-frills services.

Commercial flights now account for around 2.4% of global CO2 emissions, and the industry is under pressure to decrease its environmental impact, including initiatives to encourage consumers to use rail and road transportation instead.

O’Leary, on the other hand, contended that road transport and shipping were larger sources of CO2 overall, and that focusing on lowering emissions from air travel was “misplaced.”

He stated that Ryanair was investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft, but that the transfer from gasoline and diesel to electric vehicles will result in bigger reductions in fossil fuel use.

People have been ready to board flights again in the aftermath of the Covid epidemic, which significantly interrupted international travel.

However, as demand for air travel has recovered, staff shortages at airlines and airports have resulted in delays and cancellations both in the UK and overseas. Some travellers have had to wait for hours or rearrange their flights at the last minute.

Ryanair, according to O’Leary, handled the crisis better than other airlines because it was “part lucky and part bold” to begin recruiting and training cabin crew and pilots last November, when the Omicron version was still disrupting international travel.

According to air travel consultancy OAG, Ryanair cancelled 0.3% of flights in the first six months of 2022, compared to British Airways’ 3.5% and Easyjet’s 2.8 per cent.

O’Leary expressed “very little sympathy” for airports, claiming that they knew schedules months in advance and that airport security workers required less training than pilots.

He accused Heathrow of “mismanagement” for capping the amount of passengers arriving at the airport throughout the summer.

O’Leary said he was “hopeful” that the problems at UK airports will be rectified by next summer, but that Brexit could make recruiting personnel more difficult.

Heathrow has previously defended the cap, claiming that it is required to offer a dependable and safe service.

The airport said Thursday that the cap was working and that July had witnessed “improvements to customer experience,” including fewer last-minute cancellations and greater aircraft punctuality and baggage handling.

It claimed that 88 percent of travellers were now passing through security in 20 minutes or less. It went on to say that 1,300 workers had been hired at the airport since last November, and that “security resources have returned to pre-pandemic levels.”

According to the Airports Operators Association, airports have been recruiting workers since late last year, and most passengers are now travelling with no or minimal interruption.

Ryanair is headquartered in Dublin, although it runs hundreds of routes in and out of the United Kingdom.

Britain’s exit from the EU had proven to be a “disaster for free movement of labour,” according to O’Leary, who urged the government to “be honest and own up” to being the cause of worker shortages.

O’Leary claimed that the UK labour market was “fundamentally flawed,” and that it was time for the UK to reconsider “some of the foolishness of Brexit.” He stated that the future UK prime minister’s priority should be to strike a free trade agreement with the EU, including free movement of labour.

(Adapted from BBC.com)

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