Ryanair expects its air fares, this summer, to be 7%-9% higher than pre-Covid disruption levels.
The airline group’s chief executive Michael O’Leary made the prediction in an interview with Reuters.
Mr O’Leary said Ryanair’s load factor – which measures how may seats are filled on planes – should also be close to pre-pandemic crisis levels, at around 94%, this month.
Ryanair’s group chief said the airline is seeing strong booking activity at present.
“July, August and September look very strong, with higher load factors and also higher fares. Fares will be up probably high single digits – 7%, 8%, 9% – over summer 2019,” Mr O’Leary told Reuters.
He also said he expects European travel experiences – and the chaos brought about by rising travel demand mixed with under-staffed airports – to improve over the summer as airport management groups “iron out” staffing shortages.
Earlier this week, Ryanair said it does not expect “widespread disruption” to its services this summer, despite news that some of its cabin crew staff in Spain – one of its busiest destinations – are planning a six-day strike at the end of this month.
Spanish trade union USO, which represents some Ryanair staff in the country, said cabin staff plan to strike – over pay levels and working conditions – on June 24, 25, 26 and 30 and on July 1 and 2.
Ryanair said it has already negotiated collective agreements with 90% of its staff across Europe. It said it has, in recent months, been negotiating improvements to those agreements as the industry recovers from the pandemic.
Mr O’Leary told Reuters that the Spanish strikes may cause a small number of cancellations or delays, but that the proposed action has “no support”. He said any disruption caused to Ryanair’s services by any industrial action is likely to be “tiny and inconsequential”.
Reuters also reported that Ryanair cabin crew in France went on strike on Sunday and Monday. A local union representative claimed that the strike action – which is, again, over pay and working conditions – led to the cancellation of more than 40 flights.