Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Air fares to Ireland will rise

The budget airline, renowned for its no-frills approach to flying, is hopeful about the year to come after cutting several loss-making routes and benefiting from a drop in fuel prices.
But the Irish airline has warned that its increasing financial stability will not prevent price hikes on flights to and from Ireland.

Ryanair has raised its profit forecast after reporting that the carrier performed better in the the third quarter of 2009 than predicted.

Blaming the Irish Government for imposing a 10 euro tourist tax on flights from Ireland, the airline has confirmed that after absorbing the cost in the past year, it will have to pass on the tax to customers.

Ryanair spokesperson Stephen McNamara told TravelMail: "Airlines like Ryanair and Aer Lingus have been absorbing the 10 euro tax on flights from Ireland but it is not sustainable so we will at some point have to pass it on to customers. We think increased prices will come in late this year or early 2011."

But in other areas, the airline has taken a bigger bite of the flights cherry compared to rivals British Airways, Air France and Lufthansa.
"We have already increased our market share significantly and will continue to do so as the customer becomes more price conscious," said Mr McNamara.
"We will make sure that we continue to be the lowest fare operator."

Ryanair's CEO, Michael O-Leary, reported that market conditions still remain difficult but said he expected further market share gains in Italy, Scandinavia, Spain, and the UK this year.
Despite the good financial news, the airline is still suffering from a bad reputation for its added costs and complicated website.

But the airline is dismissive of the claims, saying that the OFT representative made some glaring errors in his criticism and citing compliments about its website from other organisations.
Mr McNamara said: "The transparency of our website has been complimented by the EU. And I think if we are getting it right for the EU we don't need to worry about the OFT."

The Office of Fair Trading accused Ryanair of being "puerile and childish" over its online payment policy and criticised the company for the extras which are often added on to the basic flight price.