Europe’s largest low-cost Ryanair is preparing for a price war with its competitors in order to boost recovery. The Irish airline plans to resume the operations as soon as restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic are lifted.
Ryanair expects that most European carriers will slowly resume operations in June. Michael O’Leary, the airline’s CEO, told Reuters that the recovery in the intra-European travel market will be driven by big last-minute discounts in the following summer months .
“Lots of people across northern Europe have been locked up in apartments,” he said. “They will all want to go on holiday before the kids go back to school as long as they can do so in reasonable safety.”
Ryanair agrees with the need to comply with anti-coronavirus measures, such as wearing masks and checking temperature for passengers and crew. At the same time the carrier is against the initiative to reduce aircrafts capacity by one third. Recently, proposals have been made to block the average seats in aircrafts to increase distance between passengers.
Soon, “volumes will return to normal, but at lower prices,” – expects Michael O’Leary.
Due to the intrinsically low-cost model and a very stable financial situation, this means that we could see some great deals offered by the Irish low-cost carrier
“Whether it’s 9.99 euros, 4.99, 1.99 or 99 cents per seat, we almost don’t care – our critical thing in the short term isn’t to make money, it will be to get our pilots and cabin crew back flying and the aircraft back in the air,”
Michael O’Leary expects next year to be successful in terms of revenue for the airline. Although tickets may be still cheaper than usual, the lower oil prices and airport charges will compensate for the losses in ticket fares. The CEO also adds that the summer of 2021 is going to be especially interesting due to the fact that many tourists had to cancel their summer vacations in 2020, and will rebook them for next year.
Ryanair is also optimistic about increasing the fleet. The low-cost confirmed plans to buy the Boeing 737 MAX and is even considering expanding the order. As demand for aircraft is low at the moment, prices should be attractive.
I don’t think there are many airlines out there now that want to book more planes. I think in the next 12 months the prices will be very good.
The head of the Irish carrier also expects Boeing to resume production of the 737 MAX in the second half of 2020. Moreover, the first of 135 ordered aircraft will be received in late 2020 or early 2021.