Free flights in a decade’s time, Ryanair chief predicts


Ryanair chief executive, Michael O’Leary, has predicted flights will soon be free, with the airline making its money from sharing revenues with airports.


Speaking at the Airport Operators Association conference in London, the Ryanair chief shared his prediction that in a decade’s time, passengers will not have to pay a penny to fly on selected Ryanair routes. The attractive deals being offered to Ryanair by small European airports, combined with the possible abolition of air passenger duty (APD), would eventually allow his airline to give away flights.


The airline will make its money by sharing the airport profits from the shopping and the retail revenues at airports.


Mr O’Leary said: “I think it will happen. It just won’t happen at Heathrow or those big hub airports. But most of the other airports who are looking for big traffic growth, that process is already starting to happen, lowering airport fees and some of the charges.”


He added: “If [air passenger duty] is gone: at many airports I’m paying more than £20 already with APD and fees, if I start getting that back, why not? I’m doing seat sales this week at £4 and I’m paying the £13 APD – I’m paying you to fly with me.


“Instead of promotional tickets being £9 or £5 they will be free.”