Ryanair has warned it will face higher summer fares due to a lack of flights

  • By Katie Austin
  • Traffic reporter

image source, Good pictures

Holidaymakers could face higher fares this summer due to delays in new Boeing planes, Ryanair's boss has said.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary said the delayed delivery of flights would limit passenger capacity.

He said Ryanair's ticket prices could rise by up to 10% this summer as a result.

Ryanair hopes to receive some compensation but is focused on delivering flights, he added.

Mr O'Leary said 57 Boeing 737 Max 8200s were due to be delivered by March, but the company believed only 40-45 could arrive in the summer season.

Boeing has been under scrutiny since part of one of its jets exploded during a passenger flight in January. The Alaska Airline passenger plane, which did not result in serious injuries, was forced to make an emergency landing.

As a result, Mr O'Leary said, the US manufacturer, the US regulator the Federal Aviation Administration, was “creeping all over them”.

Major concerns have been raised about quality control for new Boeing planes, prompting a slowdown in production pace.

Mr O'Leary said Ryanair's fare hike would not be as steep as the 17% rise seen in 2023 due to costs saved by hedging on fuel.

Some other airlines also have capacity constraints due to non-availability of aircraft, he said.

For example, problems with Pratt & Whitney engines have grounded several Airbus planes used by carriers such as Wizz Air.

He told reporters that there would be a “higher tariff environment across Europe” this summer.

Speaking at the company's Dublin headquarters, Mr O'Leary said: “With fewer flights, we'll probably have to bring that 205 million towards 200 million passengers.”

“If capacity is increasing, I think rates will come down,” he said.

Discussing the problems that have engulfed US aircraft maker Boeing, Mr O'Leary described the current message from the company as “confused”.

The low-cost carrier's boss has repeatedly defended Boeing's top management but criticized the planemaker's quality control standards.

He didn't think firing Ed Clark, head of the 737 MAX program, was the right move, arguing that it didn't make sense to have both a new president to replace Mr. Clark and a new president to rank.

He said Ryanair wanted a person in charge to monitor the situation on a day-to-day basis, previously saying their products were “a great flight, they just didn't make them on time or deliver them on time”.

A Boeing spokesperson said: “As we take the time necessary to ensure that each aircraft we deliver is of high quality and meets all customer and regulatory requirements, we are communicating with customers that some delivery schedules may change.

“We deeply regret the impact this will have on our valued customer Ryanair,” they added.

“We are working to address their concerns in a comprehensive program to strengthen 737 quality and delivery performance.”

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