Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has warned that holidaymakers are set to face higher rates this summer as the delivery of new Boeing planes has been delayed.

He said that the delayed delivery of the planes will lead to constrained passenger capacity, prompting ticket prices to potentially rise by 10 per cent this summer as a result.

Due to this, Ryanair is now demanding compensation from Boeing for the delays, with the US-based aerospace company facing increased scrutiny following an accident where a Boeing 737 Max plane had its window detached during a passenger flight operated by Alaska Airlines. The flight did not lead to serious injuries, but prompted an emergency landing and increased investigations from US aviation regulator Federal Aviation Administration.

Boeing has faced numerous production issues at its suppliers’ as well as its own factories, prompting sharp losses as deliveries continued to be delayed. In 2023, it reported a $2.2 billion (€2.04 billion) loss, with losses over the past five years totalling $26.7 billion (€24.8 billion).

Mr O’Leary stated that the airline hopes to get some compensation, yet is ultimately focused on getting the planes delivered.

He confirmed that due to major concerns being raised about quality control for new Boeing aircraft, there has been a slowdown in production speed.

However, he also assured passengers that due to costs saved through hedging on fuel, Ryanair’s fare increase would not be as high as the 17 per cent increase seen in 2023. Mr O’Leary continued by adding that some other airlines are facing issues related to capacity due to delayed deliveries.

Ryanair had originally forecast that it would carry 205 million passengers for the year to the end of March 2025, a significant increase from the 183.5 million recorded in the 12 months prior. However, while speaking at the firm’s headquarters in Dublin, Mr O’Leary said that this capacity constraints will lead to this going down to 200 million passengers.

Last November, Ryanair announced its summer 2024 schedule for Malta, featuring over 2.7 million seats. More details were unveiled last November, with the airline stating that it will now be offering a total of 67 routes, including new ones connecting Malta to Belfast, Norwich, and Rome Fiumicino.

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