Cash-hit airlines plan fare bonanza
AIRLINE passengers are likely to benefit from lower fares in coming months, even as carriers across Europe suffer losses of hundreds of millions of euros.
Ryanair confirmed yesterday that its executives have already been discussing plans for a ticket sales bonanza to be implemented once all its flights are back to normal service.
"It has been discussed internally. It will probably be based on what we did after 9/11 when we had a sizeable seat sale," Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara said, adding that any promotion could cover more than 500 of Ryanair's 1,100 routes.
A UK-based aviation expert said he believed downward pressure on fares that began over a year ago would persist as airlines tried to attract more customers to shore up their accounts.
The airlines are now dealing with a double-whammy -- troubled economic circumstances plus the fallout from the Icelandic volcano.
David Kaminski-Morrow, the European editor at 'Air Transport Intelligence', said lower fares would be more evident once airlines get flying again.
"The economic climate had already pushed fares down to competitive levels. This is an added burden, but I think that the downward pressure on fares will continue," he said
Mr Kaminski-Morrow added that, unlike the situation after the 9/11 attacks in the US in 2001, passengers still wanted to fly. "They just want to get to where they're going," he said.
Meanwhile, Aer Lingus yesterday revealed that the six-day flight ban could cost it €30m.
The carrier has cancelled more than 1,100 services since the volcano erupted last week.
Management said it costs up to €5m a day to keep planes on the ground, reschedule flights and offer passengers options to re-book or get refunds.