Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has predicted that airlines will be offering huge discounts on airfare to boost the travel sector.
The controversial businessman also said hopes for the industry now rested on the successful launch of a coronavirus vaccine to boost tourism.
He said, “Quantities will return by 2022-23 as airlines, led by Ryanair, will be offering discounts.”
However, the head of the low-cost airline suggested charging passengers more than £ 100 for a private PCR Covid test prior to departure.
Speaking at the World Travel Market Virtual Conference, he said, “PCR testing should be widely available but at a cost of £ 120-150 per test, it is prohibitive”
“People should come to the airport with a negative test. Then we can return to short haul flights with reasonable confidence. Long haul will take longer.”
However, he wrote off the winter of 2020 but expected demand to pick up again in 2021.
He said: “It’s easy to be critical of politicians. The first lockdown was probably inevitable. The first answer they had no choice.
“What is worrying is how governments have used the lockdown. It should have been used to do mass testing. Every European government should have had capacity for mass testing.
“But nothing was set up for the winter. They didn’t do any mass testing, so hopes for a vaccine now. “
He said he was optimistic about an upturn for the summer.
Mr. O’Leary noted, “He said,” Then it is reasonable to believe that summer 2021 will return to some degree of normalcy. I see no reason why Ryanair shouldn’t go back to 75 to 80 percent of 2019 capacity.
“This winter is a write-off. November is always terrible. The real problem is, can we save some traffic for Christmas? Then it’s about Easter. “