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Ryanair to hike prices this summer after £300m loss

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·Business Reporter, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
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Passengers board Ryanair airplane
Ryanair posted a €355m (£302m, $370m) annual loss on Monday. Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images

Ryanair (RYA.IR) has warned that its prices for summer bookings are set to rise due to high demand for European beach holidays.

After reporting a 27% drop in the cost of average fares, Michael O’Leary, boss of the budget airline, said on Monday that he now expects prices for flights to increase by “a high single-digit percent”.

It came as Europe’s largest carrier posted a €355m (£302m, $370m) annual loss as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Omicron variant, and a cost of living crisis took its toll. However, this was down from a previous loss of €1bn.

Although the loss was smaller than expected, the current geopolitical tension has driven up the price of oil over recent months, affecting the cost of jet fuel, as well as causing supply disruptions.

Read more: European stock markets fall as Nato prepares to admit Sweden and Finland

“This recovery remains fragile. We see a very strong recovery of traffic into the summer this year. But we have been scarred by the Omicron variant which crashed Christmas and the invasion of Ukraine, which crashed travel plans for Easter as well,” O’Leary said.

"If there are any adverse news flows on COVID or Ukraine this recovery could be threatened again."

He added that ongoing delays at airports such as Heathrow and Manchester were going to be likely, thanks to staff shortages.

“There’s no doubt getting through airports this summer is going to be challenging and we’re encouraging all of our customers to show up earlier to allow more time to get through airport security, particularly in Manchester.”

Ryanair’s revenues tripled to €4.8bn in the year to 31 March, compared with the first year of coronavirus lockdowns.

Passenger traffic recovered strongly during the year as it carried just over 97 million guests, up from 27.5 million the year before thanks to the lifting of pandemic restrictions.

It hopes to boost this further to 165 million passengers, ahead of the 149 million record level seen pre-pandemic, and return to “reasonable profitability” in the current financial year.

Shares in the Dublin-based group were down 3% on the back of the news. The stock has declined more than 10% this year as it battles to recover.

Watch: Ryanair posts loss, says fares could rise

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