In the early days of the pandemic, few would have guessed that aircraft delivery days would be a factor in hampering a travel recovery. But that's the case indeed.
Ryanair will likely trim some flights in August due to delivery delays from Boeing but there will be no material impact on customers, senior executive Eddie Wilson said in an interview on Tuesday.
Group Chief Executive Michael O’Leary last week said he would trim some high-frequency routes in July and Wilson said the same would happen in August but that Ryanair would “absolutely” hit its annual target of 185 million passengers.
Wilson said he was hopeful the number of planes affected by manufacturing issues would be in the single digits out of a fleet of over 550, but that Boeing had not yet provided a detailed delivery schedule.
“We’ll be able to absorb this in terms of frequency reduction,” said Wilson, chief executive of Ryanair DAC, the largest airline in the Ryanair Group.
“It won’t be material, it won’t affect people, because all the bookings aren’t in for August,” he added.
O’Leary described the delays by Boeing as “very disappointing”, but Wilson said talks with the U.S. firm about a possible large new order would not be impacted.
Wilson was speaking in Berlin where he announced 520 weekly flights in its summer schedule, but said Ryanair was focusing growth elsewhere due to high airport charges.
He said Germany was “bottom of the class” with its short-haul sector still 20% below its pre-COVID traffic.
“There has been a substantial reduction in domestic traffic and prices have gone through the roof,” Wilson said.
Wilson said he did not expect a repeat of travel chaos seen in Europe last summer as airports struggled to deal with a return to travel after pandemic lockdowns, but he said “it’s not going to be perfect.”
(Reporting by Klaus Lauer; Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Louise Heavens)
This article was written by Klaus Lauer from Reuters and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].
Photo credit: A file photo of a Ryanair 737-8AS taking off from Riga International Airport. The airline will have to trim flights in August because of Boeing aircraft delivery delays. Ryanair