Summer airfares may cost nearly 10 per cent more than they did pre-pandemic, Ryanair’s Chief Executive has revealed.
The fare increase comes as the budget airline’s bookings bounce back to near 2019 levels.
On Tuesday, Ryanair Group Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said bookings at Europe's biggest budget airline are strengthening.
Speaking to Reuters, he said the load factor - a measure of how well an airline is filling available seats - should be around 94 per cent in June, almost reaching pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels.
O’Leary expects summer fares to be between 7 per cent and 9 per cent higher compared to before the pandemic.
"And July, August, and September look very strong with higher load factors and also higher fares," he said.
"Fares will be up probably high single digits 7,8,9 per cent over summer 2019."
He said he expects the travelling experience for European customers to improve over summer as airport management groups "iron out" staffing shortages through recruitment.
Will Ryanair travellers face air chaos this summer?
A snapback in air travel has triggered long queues at some British airports, as well as Amsterdam, Dublin and Toronto, as airport managers struggle to fill jobs fast enough.
However, O’Leary assured customers that disruption will be minimal, dismissing threats of industrial action.
Ryanair cabin crew today voted to hold six days of strikes over June and July. Workers affiliated with two Spanish unions are set to walk out on 24, 25, 26 and 30 June, as well as on the first two days of July.
Staff want a deal that “guarantees decent work conditions for all personnel" at the airline, the USO and SITCPLA unions said in a joint statement.
O'Leary said any disruption caused by industrial action was likely to be "tiny and inconsequential".
He said there might be a small number of cancellations or delays but that the proposed strike action has "no support".
O'Leary said there was no progress in talks with Boeing regarding the acquisition of new aircraft, and he reiterated his criticism of the plane-makers management, saying that Ryanair last spoke to Boeing "two or three months ago".
Boeing has said it sold more than 700 MAX jets last year and will not do deals at unrealistic prices.