Michael O’Leary: 2010 fares to stay flat in Europe


DUBLIN – Irish low-budget airline Ryanair Holdings PLC’s Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said Thursday average fares will be flat across Europe in 2010, but Irish fares will rise 10%.

“We’ve just come through a year where fares have fallen 20%,” he told a press conference in Dublin to announce a 20% cut in traffic from Dublin Airport this summer.

“The fares out of Dublin will be significantly higher this year.”

While he expects total passenger numbers to rise by 7 million to 73 million this year, traffic at Dublin Airport will fall to 18 million passengers from 20 million in 2010.

He added that more flights from Dublin to destinations like Malaga, Faro, Barcelona and Alicante at higher fares will help offset this. More flights also usually reflects greater turnaround efficiency. O’Leary said the Dublin Airport Authority’s “high costs” and the government’s EUR10-per-passenger tourist tax caused Dublin Airport’s traffic to fall by 3 million passengers in 2009.

However, the Dublin Airport Authority said Ryanair’s “own business environment has contributed to the airline’s decision to withdraw some services from Dublin Airport, while at the same time launching new routes and expanding other destinations.”

“These decisions are not related to passenger charges as Dublin, which remains one of Europe’s most competitively priced large airports … A passenger pays the same charge at Dublin Airport whether they are flying to Malaga or to Manchester,” the DAA said.

It added that Dublin’s proposed passenger charge for 2010 is 25% lower than the average EUR12.50 passenger charge levied in 2008 by comparable European airports such as Stansted, Gatwick, Brussels, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Zurich, Vienna, Munich and Oslo.