Furious Ryanair blasts airports over travel turmoil


Furious Ryanair blasts airports over travel turmoil while announcing ‘the days of €9.99 fares are probably coming to an end’

  •  Airport bosses ‘had one job’, the budget carrier said, which was to recruit enough security and baggage handling staff for the summer
  • But chief financial officer Neil Sorahan said they had failed, leading to delays
  • The Dublin-based airline, meanwhile, announced it had swung back to a £145m profit in the three months to June 30, compared with a £232m loss a year earlier 

Ryanair blamed airports for ongoing travel chaos as it warned soaring fuel costs mean the era of bargain flights is coming to an end. 

Airport bosses ‘had one job’, the budget carrier said, which was to recruit enough security and baggage handling staff for the summer. 

But chief financial officer Neil Sorahan said they had failed, leading to delays and disruption, and urged them to ‘get their planning better’ in time for next year’s peaks. He also said ‘the days of €9.99 fares are probably coming to an end’ as the cost of oil has jumped from $40 to $100 per barrel. 

Lashing out: Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said the sector’s recovery was ‘hugely dependent on there being no adverse developments’

The Dublin-based airline, meanwhile, announced it had swung back to a £145m profit in the three months to June 30, compared with a £232m loss a year earlier. 

Passenger numbers shot up 461pc to 45.5m following the easing of travel restrictions, almost a tenth higher than preCovid levels. AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: ‘Ryanair’s results did reveal a healthy enough profit for the three months to the end of June amid significant pent-up demand.’ 

But Ryanair said that while the recovery was strong, it was also ‘fragile’ because of the war in Ukraine and the potential for new outbreaks of Covid. Chief executive Michael O’Leary said the travel sector’s recovery was ‘hugely dependent upon there being no adverse or unexpected developments’. 

Ryanair’s fuel bill in the quarter soared by 560pc to £850m and it said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had ‘badly damaged’ Easter bookings and fares. Passengers have faced ongoing chaos after the industry was wrong-footed by the rebound in travel demand.

Michael O'Leary said the travel sector's recovery was 'hugely dependent upon there being no adverse or unexpected developments'

Michael O’Leary said the travel sector’s recovery was ‘hugely dependent upon there being no adverse or unexpected developments’

Bosses failed to hire enough staff for the summer holiday rush leading to major delays and cancellations at major European travel hubs. Tens of thousands of flights have been cancelled and Heathrow this month imposed a cap on the number of passengers it will handle each day. 

Ryanair said the ‘unprecedented’ air traffic control and baggage handling delays are disrupting its schedules and hitting customers. Sorahan told the BBC: ‘The airports themselves had one job to do and that was to make sure they have sufficient handlers and security staff. 

They had the schedules months in advance.’ He said the airline was able to hire enough staff to fly 73 additional aircraft and added that it was ‘incumbent upon’ airports to plan ahead for next year. It has also faced less disruption than its European rivals. 

In the first six months of the year, Ryanair cancelled 0.3pc of flights, compared with British Airways, which axed 3.5pc, and EasyJet’s 2.8pc, according to air travel consultancy OAG. O’Leary said the airline’s decision to cut staff pay during the pandemic to avoid job losses had been ‘vindicated’. 

He said: ‘Ryanair seems unusual among the major EU airlines in summer 2022, insofar as we are fully crewed, despite operating at 115pc of our pre-Covid capacity.’ 

Mould said: ‘The industry really needs these problems ironed out as soon as possible if it is to avoid hard-pressed households being put off the idea of flying on holiday.’ 

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