Ryanair eyes sharp rise in European travel prices

Photo: AP

The biggest European budget airline Ryanair warned that holiday prices are likely to rise sharply next year as consumer demand for travel rebounds. The company’s CEO Michael O'Leary noted fewer flights, inflation and more taxes would drive airfares up, BBC reported.

"I think there will be a dramatic recovery in holiday tourism within Europe next year," he said. "And the reason why I think prices will be dramatically higher is that there's less capacity." Ryanair's short-haul rivals had all had to reduce their fleets because of the pandemic, he added. "Take out Thomas Cook six million seats, Flybe eight million seats, Norwegian nearly 24 million seats. Alitalia's reducing its fleet by 40%," said O'Leary.

"There is going to be about 20% less short-haul capacity in Europe in 2022, with a dramatic recovery in demand." This comes as economists predict inflation will continue to rise over the rest of the year, which O'Leary said was a factor in increasing airfares, as well as the threat of increasing environmental taxes. Airlines have been hit hard by lockdowns and travel restrictions around the world, with many announcing job cuts.

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