The Ryanair boss has warned the era of ultra-low airfares is over and says Brexit was partly to blame for the shortage of airport workers that created chaos during the peak holiday season.
The airline’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, has said soaring oil prices will make it impossible to continue offering promotional tickets for less than €10 (£8.50). He added that Ryanair’s average fare would rise from around €40 to €50 over the next five years as the company adjusted to rising inflation.
“I don’t think there will be more €10 flights because oil prices are significantly higher following the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” O’Leary told the Today show. BBC Radio 4.
“There’s no doubt that at the bottom of the market, our really cheap promotional fares – the €1 fares, the €0.99 fares, even the €9.99 fares – I don’t think you’ll see these rates in the coming years. ”
He said that while people would continue to fly, customers would be much more “price sensitive” and seek bargains before traveling as rising food and fuel bills ate away at disposable income.
O’Leary called on UK and EU policymakers to “cut inflation down by around 2%”, saying that otherwise “people’s incomes and wealth will be very badly damaged”.
Inflation in the UK stands at 9.4% and is expected to reach 13.3% – its highest level since 1980 – by October, according to the latest forecast from the Bank of England.
The outspoken airline boss also slammed the impact Brexit was having on airlines and airports across the country as passengers struggled with travel chaos including long lines of waiting, rafts of canceled flights and misplaced luggage due to understaffing.
O’Leary blamed outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson ‘and other ambitious idiots’ for creating the conditions that have left the UK in a labor crisis since leaving the EU .
“If there was a lot more honesty, or any honesty, from Boris Johnson’s government they would come out and admit that Brexit has been a disaster for the free movement of labor and one of the real challenges facing the UK economy,” O said Leary.