Ryanair boss issues grim holiday price warning to Brits ahead of summer

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A Ryanair boss has told Brits who are hoping to soak up the sun this summer to brace themselves for a price hike on flights.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary has warned travellers to expect an increase in the cost to jet off to European holiday destinations.

The announcement comes as holidaymakers set their sights on beaches across Europe, with the high demand meaning flight prices will continue to rise.

In recent weeks airports across the UK have been hit with travel chaos, with confused customers being turned away from boarding their flights.

Post-Brexit rules now demand that Brits entering the EU must have passports less than 10 years old with at least three months’ of validity left on the passenger’s return date.

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The Daily Star recently reported how Ryley McGuckin, 11, was left in tears after Ryanair turned him away at the airport despite him having four months left on his passport.

His mum Natasha Rae said staff told her that her son’s passport was more than five years old and was therefore invalid in the EU. The airline later apologised for the mistake.

But as the travel crisis continues, Brits can now expect to shoulder extra costs this summer if they want to travel in Europe.

Michael O’Leary told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: "I think capacity, generally, across the summer will be down 10%, 15%.

“Prices will be up by, I think, in the first quarter, they’ll be down on pre-Covid up to June, for the September-quarter at the moment, based on about 50% of all bookings, we expect prices will be up high single-digit per cent.

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“It seems to us that there will be higher prices into that peak summer period because there’s so much demand for the beaches of Europe and those price rises going to continue.

“I think it’s very difficult to predict, we expect Ryanair to operate about 115% of our pre-Covid capacity this summer. We’re adding new aircraft, new bases, over 700 new routes."

But the travel boss believes there is a possibility that prices will be cheaper next winter.

“I think prices will be low next winter," he said.

"But it’s too early to say, there’s clearly going to be an economic downturn, there’s some fear of recession and in a recession, the lowest-cost provider, which in the UK and in Europe is Ryanair, will do better, but will do better because we can sustain lower prices.”

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