Ryanair CEO Warns of Summer Fare Increases Amid Boeing Delivery Delays

Michael O’Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, has alerted travellers to the likelihood of higher airfares this summer due to delays in the delivery of Boeing aircraft. O’Leary emphasised that the postponed arrival of the planes would limit passenger capacity and lead to increased ticket prices for Ryanair flights during the summer season.

Ryanair’s chief executive disclosed that ticket prices could surge by up to 10% this summer as a consequence of the delayed Boeing deliveries. While Ryanair anticipates some compensation for the delays, its primary focus remains on securing the timely delivery of the aircraft, O’Leary added.

Boeing has faced intensified scrutiny since January, when a component of one of its jets malfunctioned during a passenger flight operated by Alaska Airlines, prompting an emergency landing. Although the incident did not result in serious injuries, it prompted increased regulatory scrutiny from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

According to O’Leary, the FAA’s heightened oversight has led to a slowdown in Boeing’s production pace, with concerns raised regarding the quality control of new Boeing aircraft. Consequently, delays in aircraft production have contributed to capacity constraints for airlines worldwide.

Ryanair initially projected carrying 205 million passengers in the fiscal year ending March 2025, up from 183.5 million in the preceding 12 months. However, with fewer aircraft available, O’Leary suggested that the passenger forecast might need to be revised downward to approximately 200 million.

Lucy Coutts, an investment director at JM Finn, noted that Boeing’s delays would result in 9,000 fewer available seats this summer. She acknowledged that Ryanair’s anticipated fare hikes, averaging around 10%, were slightly higher than the industry average of 3–7% due to its low-cost carrier status.

Reflecting on the challenges facing Boeing, O’Leary expressed his dissatisfaction with the company’s handling of the situation, describing the current communication from Boeing as “confusing.” While O’Leary reiterated his support for Boeing’s top management, he criticised the company’s quality control standards and questioned the removal of the head of the 737 Max programme, Ed Clark.

A Boeing spokesperson expressed regret over the impact of the delays on Ryanair and reaffirmed the company’s commitment to addressing concerns and enhancing the quality and delivery performance of the 737 aircraft.