Ryanair boss warns flights to Europe will cost MORE this summer

THE boss of Ryanair has warned that flights to Europe could cost more this summer.

Michael O'Leary said that the high demand for European beach holidays could see a "single-digit per cent" rise.

Many Brits are gearing up for their first summer abroad since the outbreak of Covid, with hopes that bookings are beginning to recover to 2019 levels.

But Mr O'Leary has said that demand could drive an increase in prices.

He told BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "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.

"I think prices will be low next winter. But it's too early to say, there's clearly going to be an economic downturn, there's some fear of recession and in a recession the lowest-cost provider, which in the UK and in Europe is Ryanair, will do better, but will do better because we can sustain lower prices."


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Ryanair has become known for its low prices, and Mr O'Leary said that in part was driving an increase in passenger numbers, helping the company recover from the pandemic.

The CEO added he hoped the company would return to "reasonable profitability" within the current financial year.

The airline reported a £302m loss on Monday and said its recovery from Covid had been hindered by the Omicron variant and the war in Ukraine.

The loss was lower than the previous year's total of £867m.

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Mr O'Leary also told the BBC he hoped to see "pinch points" at UK airports such as Manchester or Heathrow removed by the end of June in time for the peak summer period.

He said: "There's no doubt I think getting through airports this summer is going to be challenging and we're encouraging all of our customers to show up earlier and allow more time to get through airport security."

Brits have been stuck in huge queues across UK airports in recent weeks, due to Covid staff shortages.

Some passengers have had to wait hours at security while others have even missed their flights.

Kully Sandhu, managing director of the Aviation Recruitment Network, warned it could take "at least the next 12 months for the industry, vacancy wise, to settle down".

He said it wasn't just Covid causing problems in hiring new staff, of which he said there were more than 300 vacancies across UK airports, but also Brexit.

Other airlines have been affected by Covid staff shortages too.

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EasyJet is set to remove a number of seats on its flights so that the airline can fly with less crew onboard in the next few months.

And British Airways is to axe 16,000 flights with 10 per cent of flights affected between March and Autumn.

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