- Ryanair CEO sees European short-haul fares on the rise
- Ryanair remains concerned about risks from COVID and Ukraine war
- China’s reopening could boost oil prices, the CEO said
- There will be no repeat of staffing shortages at airports and airlines
ROME, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Ryanair ( RYA.I ) expects a very strong summer season with average single-digit growth in short-haul European air fares, Chief Executive Michael O’Leary told Reuters. Thursday.
Ryanair raised its profit forecast for the end of March in early January after the Christmas season, meaning it could easily beat the 1 billion euro ($1.08 billion) annual profit it made before the two-year period of losses due to COVID-19.
“At the moment, the outlook for summer is very strong, bookings are high and prices are high,” the chief executive of Europe’s largest airline by passengers said in an interview after announcing the new routes from Italy.
O’Leary said bookings for the first few weeks of 2023, mid-February and Easter were strong, but prices for the first three months of the year would be “slightly softer” than in the pre-Covid period. choose.
“I think it’s very likely we’ll see single-digit price increases again this summer, certainly European short-haul air fares,” he said, despite the risk of new variants of the coronavirus and the negative developments in Ukraine.
Ryanair’s summer plan will boost hopes of receiving 40-45 of the 51 Boeing ( BA.N ) 737 MAX planes due for delivery by the end of May, O’Leary told Reuters.
He previously said the airline would be lucky to get 40 by June.
Asked about the impact of China’s reopening of borders on European air travel and travel markets, he said it was “uncertain”, noting that a quick recovery in Chinese travel would be good for bookings and fares, but could boost oil prices.
He said high post-Covid demand is unlikely to ease in the coming weeks.
“What’s happening this summer is that we have a lot of American tourists coming to Europe because of the weak dollar and the euro, and you’re seeing Asian flows to Europe starting to pick up,” he said. .
He said Ryanair’s growth over the next 5 years will mostly come from central and eastern European economies such as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, where incomes are rising and people are more willing to travel.
O’Leary said last summer there would be no repeat of airport and airline staffing shortages, but he was concerned about air traffic control, particularly in Germany and France.
“We’re not too worried about the recession or consumer spending because that will drive more and more people to low-cost airlines like Ryanair,” he added.
(1 dollar = 0.9265 euros)
Reporting by Angelo Amante Editing by Jane Merriman and Kirsten Donovan
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.