Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has warned of "dramatic" hikes in airfares next summer, with demand set to outstrip supply after a second summer of suppressed international travel.
O’Leary told the Sunday Times he expected a recovery in European tourism during summer 2022 would stretch demand for flights and hotels, driving up prices significantly.
He cited the loss of capacity owing to the pre-pandemic collapses of Thomas Cook and Flybe, as well as the retreat of Norwegian, for his warning. "Thrre is going to be about 20% less short-haul capacity in Europe in 2022 with a dramatic recovery in demand," said O’Leary.
Ryanair, said O’Leary, was cutting pricing for this winter to "grab market share", while stressing inflation and heightening environmental taxes on flying would add to the cost of fares.
He added the trading environment would likely lead to further consolidation in the European short-haul aviation market.