Save, make, understand money

Household Bills

Plane shortage means flight prices are set to rise

Plane shortage means flight prices are set to rise
Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has predicted that flights with the budget airline could cost up to 10% more this summer compared to last year, due to a lack of planes.

O’Leary said issues limiting the number of available aircraft mean European airlines will struggle to meet demand for travel during the peak season.

He blamed the predicted flight price hikes on delays in the delivery of new Boeing aircraft.

Ryanair’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.

But O’Leary said: “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.”

Ryanair fares in summer 2023 rose 17% – but O’Leary said a similar double-digit increase of flight prices this year was unlikely and that the budget airline’s budgets were based on fare increases of 5% to 10%.

He blamed the price hikes on the drop in growth, which is down to constrained capacity. Ryanair has a contract with Boeing for the delivery of 57 new planes by the end of March, but the airline expects to have only received 40 to 45 new planes by then.

The delays are down to the US regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), investigating quality control at Boeing after an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 suffered a mid-air blowout on 5 January 2024.

Related: Ryanair declared worst European airline for extra fees