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Ryanair warns of 10% fare rise this summer due to lack of planes - SKYNEWS

FEBRUARY 26, 2024

The airline could struggle to meet demand for travel during the peak season due to problems with aircraft at Boeing and Airbus, says Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary.

Holidaymakers face higher air fares this summer due to a lack of available aircraft, Ryanair has warned.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary has predicted the budget airline's ticket prices could be up to 10% more expensive compared with the same period last year.

He said problems with aircraft at Boeing and Airbus - delaying the delivery of aircraft - will constrain capacity for passengers.

Mr O'Leary said: "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 5-10%, which to me feels kind of reasonable."

Citing the uncertain climate, Mr O'Leary added: "It could be higher than that, it could be lower than that, we really don't know.

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

Passenger capacity to slump due to lack of aircraft

Ryanair originally forecast it would carry 205m passengers in the year to the end of March 2025 - up from 183.5m during the previous 12 months.

But Mr O'Leary told reporters at Ryanair's Dublin headquarters: "With less aircraft, maybe we'll have to bring that 205m down towards 200m passengers."

Citing the uncertain climate, he added: "It might be a scratch below 200m, we just don't know at this stage."

Ryanair has a contract with Boeing for the delivery of 57 new planes by the end of March.

However, Mr O'Leary said he expects to receive between 40 to 45.

He said the US aircraft manufacturer "has (US regulator) the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) crawling all over them" since a Boeing 737 Max 9, operated by Alaska Airlines, suffered a mid-air blowout on 5 January.

The FAA grounded 171 aircraft, most of which are operated by Alaska Airlines and United Airlines, until inspections of the jets were carried out.

Major concerns over quality control have seen production of the new Boeing aircraft slow down.

It follows an announcement last summer that more than 1,000 Pratt & Whitney-built engines would need to be removed from Airbus aircrafts due to a safety recall.

As a result, airlines including Wizz Air, Luftansa and Air France "will be grounding upwards of 20% of their A230 fleets", Mr O'Leary said.

"If we could get all 57 aircraft deliveries from Boeing in advance before the end of June, we would make out like bandits all summer long, because we have airports at the moment beating the door down to us," he added.


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