Ryanair’s CEO Says The Age Of Cheap Flights Is Over In Germany

Nov 27, 2023

Expensive airport fees and passenger taxes have left Germany’s aviation industry lagging behind.

Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson believes the era of cheap flights in Germany is over due to high taxes, fees, and lower capacity. The Irish low-cost carrier is withdrawing a quarter of its Germany-based fleet and isn’t the only airline pulling out either. Speaking to German media outlet Frankfurter Rundschau, Wilson criticized the country’s expensive airport fees and taxes, claiming that political interference has played a major role in rising costs and ticket prices.

Germany has one of Europe’s highest domestic airfare taxes at 19%, along with expensive airport fees and security charges. Wilson believes that if the German government does nothing to reduce the fees, the country will lose out on an estimated 8.5 billion euros ($9.2 billion) in GDP.

Germany’s capacity will be around 20% lower than pre-pandemic levels over 2023, with a particular dearth in domestic services. While international capacity is lagging 16% behind 2019, domestic seat capacity will be almost 50% lower. On the contrary, other major European markets – such as Italy, Spain, and the UK – are trending higher than pre-COVID times.

Ryanair isn’t the only airline losing faith in the German market. Fellow budget carrier easyJet plans to pull around half of its fleet from the country, instead repositioning aircraft in countries with more favorable incentives. In terms of Ryanair’s future growth priorities, Wilson says Germany is “at the bottom of the list” if things remain the same, adding that “airlines will not increase their capacity” when costs are much cheaper in other countries. READ MORE (possible firewall)

(Source: SimpleFlying.com, Luke Bodell)

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