Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary says getting through airports will be “challenging” this summer

Budget airline Ryanair has reported narrowed annual losses of 355 million euros (£302 million)  and hopes to return to “reasonable profitability” in its current financial year.

However, chief executive Michael O’Leary said it was “impractical, if not impossible” to give guidance for 2022-23 due to the risk to holiday bookings from Covid and the Ukraine war.

The group’s loss for the year to March 31 was smaller than expected and narrowed from the 1.02 billion euros (£867 million) losses seen the previous year, when trading was badly impacted by the pandemic.

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Ryanair said traffic recovered strongly as it carried 97.1 million guests, up from just 27.5 million the year before thanks to the lifting of pandemic restrictions.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has said getting through airports will be “challenging” this summer. He said there are “pinch-points” at airports such as Heathrow and Manchester, where he said “too many people” have been sacked.

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It said it hopes to boost this further to 165 million passengers this year – ahead of the 149 million record level seen pre-Covid, but that it was still having to slash prices to secure bookings amid ongoing uncertainty.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has warned flight prices will be higher this summer due to the high demand for European holiday destinations.

He 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 percent.

“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.

“I think prices will be low next winter. 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.”

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has said getting through airports will be “challenging” this summer.

He said there are “pinch-points” at airports such as Heathrow and Manchester, where he said “too many people” have been sacked.

Mr O’Leary added: “We would hope to see those pinch-points eliminated by the end of June in time for the peak summer period.

“But 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.”