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Ryanair boss reiterates warning of ‘dramatically higher’ air fares next summer

Air fares will be “dramatically higher” next summer as passengers rush to return to Europe for their holidays, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has re-confirmed.

Huge demand for holidays would coincide with fewer flights, which would mean a spike in prices for holidaymakers — not just for flights, but also for hotels.

Travel Weekly reported the Ryanair group chief executive in July as predicting a spike in air fares due to a 20% shortfall in seat supply “across the next two to three summers”.

And he told The Sunday Times.: “I think there will be a dramatic recovery in holiday tourism within Europe next year. And the reason why I think prices will be dramatically higher is that there’s less capacity.

“Take out Thomas Cook (six million seats), Flybe – (eight million seats), Norwegian (nearly 24 million seats) — Alitalia’s reducing its fleet by 40%, said O’Leary.

“There is going to be about 20% less short-haul capacity in Europe in 2022 with a dramatic recovery in demand.”

His warning comes as consumers already face the threat of rising inflation.

Ryanair is cutting prices for this winter to “grab market share everywhere”.

But O’Leary predicted that price rises next year would lead to more consolidation in the industry.

It emerged that budget rival Wizz Air had reportedly approached easyJet about a takeover, which was rejected.

O’Leary also warned increasing environmental taxes would heap extra costs on to ticket prices.

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