Sunday 25 February 2018

Ryanair reveals its average fare - and you could soon fly for free

Flying high

Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair, at a press conference in Milan. Photo: Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images
Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair, at a press conference in Milan. Photo: Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Ryanair's average fare is falling, and its CEO sees no reason why passengers couldn't fly for free in the future.

Ryanair's average fare now stands at €46.67, down 1pc this year.

The figure was announced with the airline's annual results today, which showed a 43pc rise in profits to over €1.2bn despite terrorism fears and ATC strikes.

Fares are set to fall a further 7pc in the next six months, the airline says, with fuel savings and growing passenger numbers reflected in lower prices.

But that's nothing on the prices you could pay in the future.

"My plan is that the average fares on Ryanair would be €10 in the next five years," Michael O'Leary told the media at the recent launch of Year 3 of the airline's Always Getting Better programme of customer service improvements.

"I'd see no reason why they can't be €15, €10, €5... why not even free?"

His argument is based on the airline growing passenger numbers to 180 million a year, as is its aim by 2024, with fares dropping as sales of ancillary services ranging from checked bags to car hire, travel insurance and hotel rooms grow.

"As long as we can persuade people to buy additional, optional services, then I see no reason why we can't keep driving down the underlying airfare," O'Leary said.

Ryanair in numbers:

  • 31: Years since Ryanair's launch
  • €46.67: Current average fare
  • 86: Ryanair routes from Dublin
  • 340: Number of aircraft (with 330 Boeing 738s on order)
  • 500: Ryanair flight cancellations following strikes and terrorist attacks
  • 1,800: Daily flights operated
  • 106m: Passengers flown in financial year
  • 180m: Predicted passengers per annum by 2024
  • €1.24bn: Full year profits, up 43pc on previous year
  • €1.43bn: Expected net profits in FY2017

Sale fares are currently available from €9.99 on Ryanair's website, but of course prices rise much higher than the average figure of €46.67, too.

As we publish, fares from Dublin to Bordeaux, where Ireland play the second of their Euro 2016 Group E games on June 17, were up to €299.99 one-way.

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