Ryanair, an Irish business success story, estimates that by 2023 air ticket prices will increase by between 5% and 10% compared to last summer, as demand for air travel is increasing while capacity has declined.
“There is less capacity and greater demand in Europe and, as long as there is no more negative news, whether it be about Covid-19, the war in Ukraine or other negative events, I believe that this summer airfares will go up between 5 and 10% compared to the summer of 2022”.
Despite the rise in prices, Michael O'Leary does not believe that passengers will stop traveling because airfares are higher and gave the example of the British market, whose reservations for Easter and summer are very high for beach destinations in the south of Europe.
“Nothing will stop people from traveling. After two and a half years of isolation due to Covid-19, when people couldn't see family and friends, when they couldn't travel to the beaches of Portugal, I think they'll travel again. They can cut in other areas, like in cars or in the house, but they will travel” he considered.
“I think the long haul will be weaker, due to the rise in the dollar and restrictions in Asia, but the medium-haul and short haul, particularly from the UK, will be very strong, UK bookings for beaches in Europe are very strong, either for Easter or for the summer and I think that nothing will affect them unless there are unusual events”, he added.
This summer, Ryanair will have 19 new routes in Portugal, including 11 in Porto and eight in Faro, with Michael O'Leary explaining that Ryanair will not grow in Lisbon, Madeira, and the Azores because the rates are too high and, in the case of Lisbon, also because TAP does not release slots that it is not using, nor is a new airport built.
“Unfortunately there is no growth in Lisbon because TAP continues to block the slots it has and does not use. We continue to ask the Government to ask TAP to release these slots and to speed up the opening of Montijo airport. This would create a fantastic opportunity to increase traffic, tourism, and jobs in Lisbon”, admitted the CEO of Ryanair.
Although there is no growth in Lisbon, Madeira, and the Azores, Ryanair expects to grow 13% in Portugal and transport a total of 13 million passengers on national routes in 2023, becoming the number 1 airline in the country.
"Even with all this, we continue to grow and we will be the number 1 airline in the country, with 13 million passengers for the fiscal year 2024", he said, indicating that Ryanair is "growing strongly in Portugal" and will base four more planes in the country, specifically two in Porto and another two in Faro.