Daily Express

Weaker demand cuts Ryanair flights to £17

- By Graham Hiscott

RYANAIR has had to drop some fares to just £17 to keep packing out its planes.

The low-cost airline has cut mid-week flight prices in particular after weakerthan-expected demand – good news for bargain hunters, as air fares soared after the lifting of pandemic travel curbs.

Ryanair predicted in April its average summer fare might be up by 5% to 10% this year but the Irish giant yesterday forecast prices were more likely to be flat and reliant on last-minute bookings.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “It is a bit surprising that pricing hasn’t been stronger and we’re not quite sure whether that’s just consumer sentiment or recessiona­ry feel around Europe.”

Finance chief Neil Sorahan said: “We are having to run slightly more €19.99 (£17) offers than we’d expected to fill those mid-week flights.” He said discountin­g should continue into next month, but was less likely during the school holidays.

It had been expected fares would be driven up over the summer by a lack of short-haul aircraft stemming from a production crisis at US maker Boeing.

Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline by passenger numbers, said it would be 23 jets short of the total Boeing was due to deliver by the end of July and there remained a risk that deliveries could slip further.

Mr Sorahan said the new Boeing production team in Seattle was delivering planes with “a bit more consistenc­y” and the airline might receive two or three more jets by the end of July.

Ryanair yesterday posted a 34% jump in profits to £1.64billion for the year to March. Passenger numbers rose 9% to 183.7 million.

The airline also said that it had hired former Tory Home Secretary Amber Rudd as a non-executive director.

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 ?? ?? LOW LEVEL: Ryanair pricing surprised its boss Michael O’Leary, inset
LOW LEVEL: Ryanair pricing surprised its boss Michael O’Leary, inset
 ?? Picture: NIALL CARSON/PA ??

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