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26th Feb 2024

Ryanair boss issues stark warning to holidaymakers ahead of summer

Simon Kelly

The airline carried 183.5 million passengers in the last 12 months

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has issued a warning to holidaymakers looking to plan their trips this summer as airfares are set to soar.

The Irish CEO revealed that fares for the coming summer season will rise as much 10 per cent compared to summer last year.

The reason behind the price hikes, according to O’Leary, is due to a delay in new aircraft clashing with the rising demand during peak holiday season.

Ryanair boss issues stark warning to holidaymakers as air fares set to soar

Ryanair predicted that it would carry 205 million passengers for the year up to the end of March 2025, up from 183.5 million passengers during the previous 12 months.

Speaking at Ryanair’s Dublin headquarters, Mr O’Leary said: “With less aircraft, maybe we’ll have to bring that 205 million down towards 200 million passengers.

“That probably means that even our growth this year is going to be constrained in Europe, and I think that leads to a higher fare environment across Europe.

“Fares in summer 2024 are going to be up again on summer 2023. Our average air fares in summer 2023 rose 17%.

“We don’t think we’ll see that kind of double-digit fare increase this year.

“We’re doing our budgets based on a fare increase of 5% to 10%, which to me feels kind of reasonable.

“If capacity was growing, I think fares would be falling.”

Ryanair has a contract with Boeing for the delivery of 57 new planes by the end of March next year, however the airline expects to receive only 40 to 45 by then.

Major concerns have been raised around Boeing aircraft since one of their 737 Max 9, operated by Alaska Airlines, had to make an emergency landing in Portland, Oregon after it suffered a mid-air blowout on January 5.

Since the incident, production on Boeing aircraft has nearly grinded to a halt due to investigations, forcing a backlog on deliveries.

Mr O’Leary said that Boeing “has the Federal Aviation Administration crawling all over them” since the incident.