Budget airline Ryanair has announced that they are to slash the price of tickets over the next six to 12 months.
Michale O’Leary said this is an attempt to get people flying again this summer as they are hopeful they can resume around 60 to 70% of flights, with 80 to 90% by winter.
The budget airline reported a record low of traffic during February as only around 500,000 people travelled compared with 10.5m for the same period last year.
Ryanair have suffered a €850m loss for the financial year and the lack of government support has been “lamentable.”
Speaking to the Transport Select Committee on Wednesday, he said, “We had to refund over €1.5bn to customers in the last 12 months because our flights were cancelled by government order.
“There has been no support for that. We have received no support.”
O’Leary was “most critical” of the government for doing “nothing” over Air Passenger Duty (APD), ans slammed the “ridiculous” tax of £22 per traveller departing on flights from the UK.
He said, “No effort has been made by the government to roll that back, reduce it temporarily, or in fact what we would call for, abandon it altogether, at least until traffic at UK airports recovers to pre-pandemic levels.
“Rishi Sunak has done nothing about APD, which is the most egregious tax on air travel, because it is regressive and it hits the poorest people hardest.”
O’Leary added, “So there’s much more to be done on government support. The furlough scheme falls short of what needs to be done and it will be a very challenging and difficult return to normal operation or pre-Covid operation levels and profitability.”