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Cheapest budget airlines as Ryanair plans to increase prices by 10% this summer

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Air fares will be less affordable this summer because of a limited amount of available planes, the boss of Ryanair has warned.

According to chief executive Michael O’Leary, European airlines will struggle to meet demand during the peak summer season, pushing Ryanair’s ticket prices up by 10 per cent compared to summer last year.

Ryanair hopes to get some compensation, but is focused on getting planes delivered, Mr O'Leary added.

The budget airline’s original forecast for the year to the end of March 2025 was that it would carry 205 million passengers, up from 183.5 million during the previous 12 months.

Mr O’Leary told reporters at the carrier’s Dublin headquarters: “With fewer aircraft, maybe we’ll have to bring that 205 million down towards 200 million passengers. It might be a scratch below 200 million, we just don’t know at this stage.

“That probably means that even our growth this year is going to be constrained in Europe, and I think that leads to a higher fare environment across Europe for summer 2024.”

He went on: “Fares in summer 2024 are going to be up again on summer 2023. Our average air fares in summer 2023 rose 17%. We don’t think we’ll see that kind of double-digit fare increase this year. We’re doing our budgets based on a fare increase of 5-10%, which to me feels kind of reasonable.

“It could be higher than that, it could be lower than that, we don’t really know. If capacity was growing, I think fares would be falling.”

Michael O’Leary, Ryan Air’s chief executive, says that the company’s average air fares in summer 2023 rose 17% (PA Wire)
Michael O’Leary, Ryan Air’s chief executive, says that the company’s average air fares in summer 2023 rose 17% (PA Wire)

He added that Ryanair has a contract with Boeing for the delivery of 57 new planes by the end of March, but he expects to receive only 40 to 45 in time for the summer season.

Mr O’Leary also highlighted a reason for the possible delay by saying that the US manufacturer “has the Federal Aviation Administration (the US regulator) crawling all over them” since a Boeing 737 Max 9 operated by Alaska Airlines suffered a mid-air blowout on January 5.

Major concerns have been raised about quality control for new Boeing aircraft, sparking a limit in production speed.

What are the cheapest budget airlines? 

Here is a list of budget airlines, made by Which?, ranked by value for money:

Jet2 - ★★★★

Norweigan - ★★★★

TAP Portugal - ★★★

EasyJet - ★★★

Tui Airways - ★★★

Vueling Airways - ★★★

Ryanair - ★★★

Eurowings - ★★

Wizz Air - ★★