THE boss of Ryanair has warned that new Covid variants could cause problems for holidaymakers again this year – and Brits shouldn’t expect cheap fares for much longer.
Demand for flights has returned to almost pre-pandemic levels this summer, with the scrapping of travel restrictions allowing people to go abroad more easily.
However, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has called for caution, pointing to the country’s experience with the Omicron variant last year.
He said it should serve as a warning that autumn variants could still have an effect on people’s travel plans and in turn, the travel industry.
Mr O’ Leary said: “While we remain hopeful that the high rate of vaccinations in Europe will allow the airline and tourism industry to fully recover and finally put Covid behind us, we cannot ignore the risk of new Covid variants in autumn 2022.
“Our experience with Omicron last November, and the Ukraine invasion in February, shows how fragile the air travel market remains, and the strength of any recovery will be hugely dependent upon there being no adverse or unexpected developments over the remainder of 2022-23.”
His comments come as the airline confirmed their first spring profits since the pandemic, making £173m between April and June.
And that wasn’t the only budget carrier’s warning for Brits.
The airline has said that the “days of €9.99 fares are probably coming to an end,” blaming rising fuel costs.
Things are still far from straightforward for airlines at the moment despite the increase in demand for flights, with Covid playing its part.
A spike in cases has even caused some airlines to ground flights, as they are left short staffed.
Meanwhile, Ryanair cabin crew are on strike in Spain this week, while a pilot strike in Belgium forced flights to be cancelled at the weekend.
Despite this, the airline said they expected “minimal disruptions” during the walkouts.
Elsewhere, easyJet cabin crew are due to go on strike this weekend, as part of continued strikes throughout July.
British Airways pilots are considering strike action as well, which could risk almost all of their flights being grounded.
Heathrow Airport has been the site of huge queues throughout the summer with staff shortages causing problems.
And Flight prices are also soaring amid all the chaos and cancellations.
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