The prices of flights have been all over the place this year as travelers have headed for the sky in droves following all the Covid shutdowns. There is even talk that flights could drop significantly this fall. But, when the CEO of the airline built on “cheap” fares – Ryanair – says that the era of cheap flights is over, that will definitely mean something.
The Era of Cheap Flights is Over
Ryanair moves more passengers than any other airline in Europe. They can do this because they pack their passengers in their planes with often ridiculously cheap flights. Ryanair is the airline that is known for sometimes charging more for a drink onboard than the passenger paid for the ticket!
And this is where Ryanair typically makes a bunch of money – fees for seat selection, larger cabin bag, checked bag, etc. But, yesterday, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said that“There’s no doubt that at the lower end of the marketplace, our really cheap promotional fares, the one euro fares, the 99 cent fares, even the 9.99 fares, I think you will not see those fares for the next number of years.”
He also said, “We think that 40 euros needs to edge up towards maybe 50 euros over the next five years. So the £35 average fare in the U.K. will rise to maybe £42 or £43.” He cited the oil cost increase since the invasion of Ukraine as a chief factor.
While many people may choose to not fly with Ryanair, their prices are part of what has challenged the legacy airlines to have cheaper fares on similar routes over the years. They often drove down prices in markets where they started being extremely competitive, especially when legacy airlines started charging for bags and seats as well.
But, he also said, “Ryanair will still have millions of seats available at 19.99, 24.99 and 29.99. Now that will still be a fraction of the high fares that BA and our other competitors are charging.”
Yesterday, after I read about this, I checked a route I have been waiting to book for sometime (just need some scheduling things to fall into place). It was a Ryanair route that was perfect for our family with $58 roundtrip, non-stop tickets – as opposed to the competitors who are charging $130+ for the same. Well, believe it or not, that has now gone up to $90 per person. This is not just for that date pair but for all the dates that I had been previously looking at.
I had not been checking other ones so I cannot say but I had watched this route for months and it stayed solid but just now changed after their CEO’s remarks. Maybe these changes are already coming? He did say their other airline prices would not change but I find it very odd that this went way up the day he talked about this.
To be honest, I would prefer Ryanair raise the price of the extras and keep the tickets low. I can get by without the extras myself 🙂 but also the ticket fare price is what many people look at at first and this is what competitors would see as well.