The aviation industry was severely hit by the pandemic and the recovery has not been easy. Delays and cancellations have become a frequent occurrence, but besides the extra time spent in airports, passengers also have to pay more for the tickets.
The sudden surge in air traffic demand, after two years of almost complete standstill, has contributed to the higher prices. So has the oil and energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Despite travellers’ hopes, the price increase is most likely the new norm.
There’s no doubt that at the lower end of the marketplace, our really cheap promotional fares, the €1 fares, the €0.99 fares, even the €9.99 fares, I think you will not see those fares for the next number of years.Michael O’Leary, Ryanair CEO, on BBC Radio 4.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said that the era of really cheap plane tickets is over. Ryanair’s renowned promotional fares, that could see tickets for as little as €1, will no longer be available.
Despite the increase in prices, O’Leary believes people want to travel badly enough to pay the price. “We think people will continue to fly frequently. But I think people are going to become much more price sensitive and therefore my view of life is that people will trade down in their many millions”, he said.
In a previous interview with the Financial Times he estimated that the average price of a Ryanair ticket will rise from €40 to €50-€60 for the next few years, which, he says, is still on the affordable side. At the same time, he said he was the one who brought the low-cost business model to Europe, but that it is no longer sustainable.
IATA’s General Director Willie Walsh is also of the opinion that plane tickets will get more expensive, mainly attributing the price increase to the higher fuel cost, as well as the decarbonisation expenses airlines pass down to passengers through increased fares.