Ryanair warns it will cost more to fly to Europe this summer - here’s why

Ryanair has warned plane tickets to European destinations will be more expensive this summer due to an increase in demand. 

Flight prices could rise by nearly 10% thanks to the lifting of pandemic travel restrictions.

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The budget airline’s chief executive also said there were likely to be ongoing delays at airports, blaming staff shortages.

What is the situation?

Ryanair chief executive Micheal O'Leary told people at airports such as Manchester and Heathrow to arrive in plenty of time due to expected travel chaos and understaffing. 

Mr O’Leary’s comments mark the latest pricing alert ahead of the peak season, as holiday giant TUI said last week it would not be offering last-minute, low-price deals this summer due to a recovery in customer demand.

Ryanair signalled prices would ramp up over the next few months because of a cut of about 15% in European flight programmes across the sector over the summer.

The group said its peak fares for this summer may rise above prices seen before the pandemic. 

Ryanair's loss for the year to 31 March was smaller than expected and narrowed from the 1.02 billion euros (£867 million) losses seen the previous year when trading was badly impacted by the pandemic.

What was said? 

Mr O'Leary told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “For the September-quarter at the moment, based on about 50% of all bookings, we expect prices will be up high single digit per cent.

“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.”

He revealed news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine cost Ryanair around one million bookings at the end of February and the beginning of March 2022. 

Mr O'Leary said on the programme: “I think it’s very difficult to predict, we expect Ryanair to operate about 115 per cent of our pre-Covid capacity this summer," 

“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.”