Ryanair predicts 130m passengers in 2017, expects fares to fall 3pc

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  • Plan to feed Norwegian & Aer LIngus long haul by April
  • Problem is aligning Navitaire with GDS
  • Expects average fare to fall by ‘low single digits’

Michael O’Leary poses for photographs at a press breifing in Dublin, January 24 2017

Michael O’Leary predicted that Ryanair will carry 130m passengers in 2017 at a press briefing in Dublin.

The Ryanair CEO said he expected average fares to fall again in 2017 due to the weakness of sterling and other issues. “We are targetting 130m passengers, growth will be 10m passengers. I hope fares will not fall as much as last year. They were down 15pc in the second half of the year and 6pc in the first half of the year, so down about 8-9pc in the full year. That is a lot when you are already the lowest fare airlines in Europe. Next year I would hope it would be down 2-3pc but not much more than that, low single figures. The good news is that passengers are getting lower fares than ever before and thanks to Always Getting Better they are getting better service.

Our shareholders might have to suffer slightly lower returns in the next few years but our shareholders are very patient and they will wait.”

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He said that Ryanair was close reasonably to finalising a deal to feed the long-haul services of Norwegian and Aer Lingus.

“We are all working hard to make it happen for summer of 2017. The difficulty is aligning; the problem is that we are working on a Navitair which is a pretty inflexible fare system whereas Aer Lingus and Norwegian are on all the big GDSs. We are not on the GFDS, we are on a form of GDS light. 

Our tech people are working with the technical people in Aer Lingus and Norwegian on a way of allowing them to see our inventory and to sell our cheap seats as feeders into them.

The actual physical handing over of the bags and transferring the passengers in Dublin and Norwegian’s airports is straight forward. That can be done reasonably quickly.

We are prioritising it within Ryanair. I do know it is prioritized in Aer Lingus and Norwegian at the highest level. The tech teams are working it out and as soon as we can get it worked out.

I would be hopeful that would be feeding into someone, whether it is Norwegian or Aer Lingus by April or May of this year.

  • Listen here to full audio from press conference.
  • “Let’s all calm down.” Watch here comments by Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary about the Aer Lingus catering department’s involvement in an immigration scam during briefing for media in Dublin on Ryanair’s plans
  • Watch here as Michael O’Leary explains why Ryanair went to Frankfurt
  • Watch here as Michael O’Leary explains he is close to a deal with Norwegian & Aer Lingus
  • Watch here as Michael O’Leary says he expects Ryanair to carry 130m passengers in 2017
  • Watch here Michael O’Leary’s full briefing for media in Dublin on Ryanair’s plans for 2017 (without Q&A)
  • Watch here Kenny Jacobs full briefing for media in Dublin on Ryanair’s plans for 2017 (without Q&A)
  • Watch here Michael O’Leary comments on cabin baggage size problem
  • Watch here Michael O’Leary comments on his meeting with minister Ross which stressed need for lower costs at Dublin airport
  • Watch here Michael O’Leary comments on the impact of weaker sterling
  • Watch here Michael O’Leary criticism of the incentive scheme at Dublin Airport
  • Watch here Michael O’Leary criticism of the proposed wet lease deal between Lufthansa and Air Berlin in Germany
  • Watch here Michael O’Leary comments on how implosion of Air Berlin will help Ryanair gain market share in Germany
  • Watch here Michael O’Leary comments on the implications of Brexit for European aviation
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