Those airlines that like to hedge fuel will be in a better position this year, but as the invasion continues nothing is guaranteed — particularly for European airlines.
The next 12 months will be “very difficult” for most airlines after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed up oil prices above $100 a barrel, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said on Wednesday as he reassured that the Irish airline was comfortably hedged.
“I think it’s going to be very difficult for most airlines for the next 12 months,” O’Leary told Sky News.
“We have hedged out about 80 percent of our fuel needs out to March 2023. So for this summer, and for the rest of this year, we’ll still be able to pass on low oil prices and low fares to our customers because we have a very strong fuel hedging position.”
Ryanair, like most other airlines, suspended all of its flights to and from Ukraine last week as Moscow launched a full-scale invasion of its western neighbour.
O’Leary said Ryanair will operate more flights from Poland, Romania, Italy and Germany to the beaches of Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal this summer.
Airlines, which were counting on summer travel to boost business after the Omicron variant of the coronavirus hampered Christmas holidays, face a potential hit to their earnings due to surging oil prices.
O’Leary also pointed to a huge increase in demand for flights to and from Polish cities as many Ukrainians travel back to the UK and to other European cities to reunite with their families.
(Reporting by Muvija M; editing by William James)
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Photo credit: Ryanair has hedged about 80 percent of its fuel needs until to March 2023. Anna Zvereva / Flickr