Ryanair plans to sell cheap fares for the rest of the year when air travel resumes, the company’s chief executive has announced.
The budget airline aims to operate around two-thirds of its usual flight schedule this summer, but will offer cheaper fares to its customers in order to create business.
‘There is a massive loss of seat capacity’
The firm’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, has said that the Covid pandemic had taken its toll on the budget airline.
He said: “We have essentially been grounded for 365 days and our business has been wiped out.
“There is a massive loss of seat capacity that has disappeared and will take many years to recover.”
However, Mr O’Leary, told the Transport Select Committee that he expects the airline to operate between 60 and 70 per cent of flights between June and September.
He also said this could increase to between 70 and 80 per cent during the winter period. This would see the airline come close to breaking even in March of next year.
The chief executive said that in order to stimulate business, the airline - which is known for its cheaper flights - fares of £9.99 and £19.99 will be “dumped” on the market for the rest of this year.
However, travel abroad is still prohibited for the foreseeable future, other than for a small number of permitted reasons.
A date hasn’t yet been announced as to when holidays overseas will be able to go ahead, but the Government has launched a new taskforce to review global travel which will report on 12 April.
Mr O’Leary has also said that the Government’s support for airlines during the Covid pandemic has been “lamentable” and that Ryanair hasn’t received enough support.
He told the Transport Select Committee: “We had to refund over 1.5 billion euro (£1.3 billion) to customers in the last 12 months because our flights were cancelled by government order.
“There has been no support for that. We have received no support.”