Industry experts can see costs falling for passengers this summer as so-called budget carriers move to protect their market shares.
Ryanair said it was to cut fares by 7% this summer. The no-frills carrier announced the move following a similar step by its biggest rival, easyJet, as demand for flight continues to decrease by the recent terror attacks in both Paris and Brussels.
Ryanair pledged it would win any price war while unveiling its annual results, which showed record profit after tax of £959m.
While passenger numbers rose by 18% for Ryanair in the year to March to 106.4 million, it cancelled more than 500 flights during its final quarter as result of overseas terrorism and French air traffic control strikes.
Average fares fell by an average 1% over the year, helped by falling fuel costs though Ryanair responded to weaker demand by cutting flight costs most aggressively in the second half of the year.
Robin Byde, a transport analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, said: “Ryanair is a major player in many of the markets and airports it flies to. If it cuts prices, other airlines will have to respond to that.”
Earlier this month, easyJet said it would look at price cuts so it was “able to offer its customers even better value fares this summer.”
Extravagant Ryanair chief executive Michael O’leary said: “If other airlines want to compete with us on price, then we will lower our prices again. If there is a fare war in Europe, then Ryanair will be the winner.”
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