Airfares are ‘too cheap’ and will rise for next 5 years, Ryanair boss warns

The cost of flying abroad has become “too cheap” and will likely rise in price over the next five year, Ryanair’s boss has said.

Michael O’Leary said costs will need to keep increasing to match rising fuel prices and environment charges.

The warning comes as ticket prices across Europe and the US shot up as passengers returned after the Covid lockdowns and some airlines cut capacity due to staff shortages.

What did Micheal O’Leary say?

Airfares rose by 18% in April 202 according to a US study, marking the largest increase in 59 years -but Mr O’Leary said costs are still “too cheap”.

He told the Financial Times: “It’s too cheap for what it is.

“I find it absurd every time that I fly to Stansted, the train journey into central London is more expensive than the airfare.

“It has been my doing [taking prices so low]. I made a lot of money doing it.

“But ultimately, I don’t believe air travel is sustainable over the medium term at an average fare of €40 (£34).

“It’s too cheap at that. But I think, you know, it will still be very cheap and affordable at €50 and €60.”

Mr O’Leary also said “the disaster of Brexit” had stopped airlines from easily recruiting European workers.

He added: “This is, without doubt, one of the inevitable consequences of the disaster that has been Brexit.

“Withdrawing from the single market, just so that they can say ‘We got Brexit done’ was the height of idiocy. But then they are idiots.”

It comes after Mr O’Leary said in April that the era of the cheap flight “is not coming to an end”.

At the time, he told RTE, an Irish broadcaster, the country needed low-cost air travel for its tourism industry.

However, some airlines and airports are struggling to meet increased demand following rising costs and job cuts.

Many airports across the UK are facing long queues, cancelled fligts and lost baggage.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told Sky News: “Airports and airlines released a lot of people after the furlough scheme had come to an end.

“Perhaps they did not anticipate the desire for people to get out of the country.

“It matters that airlines have confidence flights can be delivered and passengers know well in advance if their flights is cancelled.”