"I don't think there will be ten euro notes anymore because oil prices are much higher since Russia invaded Ukraine. Our promotions are really cheap (...), I think 'We're not going to see these tariffs for a number of years," he told BBC Radio 4 on Thursday.
Low-cost airlines such as Ireland's Ryanair or its British rival Easyjet have shaken up air transport over the past twenty years and slashed prices, participating in a jump in short trips, in particular urban weekend getaways. end.
And according to Mr O'Leary, average ticket fares on Ryanair are expected to rise by around €10, to around €50 each way in the next 5 years.
Which, given the low-cost tariff structure with many supplements, especially for luggage, could quickly increase the total cost of a round trip to several hundred euros or pounds and undermine demand.
The surge in oil prices over the past year (+36% for Brent listed in London) weighs particularly heavily on the costs of so-called "low cost" companies compared to traditional carriers, but it also weighs on household budgets.
Annual energy bills will increase by several thousand pounds on average per household in the coming months in the United Kingdom, where inflation could exceed 13% by October, according to the Bank of England.
Michael O'Leary, however, wants to believe that the demand for air travel will continue and that in the face of consumer budget constraints, "low cost" carriers will do well.
He also protested Thursday against Brexit which has greatly reduced access for European workers to the United Kingdom, where they previously held hundreds of thousands of jobs.
"The labor market is very tight, particularly for low-skilled jobs in the hotel and catering industry, distribution and agriculture, and also for security and baggage handlers at airports," said the manager.
“And if there was any honesty from the government (of departing Prime Minister Boris) Johnson, they would admit that Brexit was a disaster for the free movement of workers and that one of the main difficulties that facing the UK economy right now is the lack of workers".
© 2022 AFP