Budget airline Ryanair risks alienating its customers after hiking its prices and enjoying record profits, an expert has warned.
The firm saw its profits shoot up to €2.18billion (£1.89billion) in the six months to September 2023, despite fares increasing by almost a quarter on average.
Consumer trends analysts Vova Even, founder of e-commerce education group Vova Even, warned customers may feel “ripped off” as prices have increased while the quality of service has remained the same.
He told Express.co.uk: “When Ryanair’s tickets get more expensive while they’re making more money, it can look bad, especially when people are trying to manage their budgets.
“This could push people to look at other airlines, something I’ve seen happen in my own business when customers thought my prices were too high for what they were getting.”
Looking at the possibility of bringing down fares, Mr Even said cheaper tickets could be on the horizon if the airline can bring down its costs.
He said: “More money means they can make their business run better and cheaper in the long run. They could buy more fuel-efficient planes or plan flights better to save money.
“These changes might not be evident immediately but can help reduce costs and could mean cheaper tickets or better flights later on.”
Senior tax associate Ashley Akin, who also contributes for MakeGood, said Ryanair may have increased its fares in anticipation of tougher economic conditions ahead.
She said: “There’s a real possibility that we will start seeing a decrease in consumer spending in the near future. The reason for this is, of course, the inflation and the rising interest rates.
“This could explain why Ryanair increased its fares. Whether or not Ryanair should lower its prices depends on customer satisfaction and the company’s need to maintain its growth and stability.
“Price reductions could ease customer costs temporarily but Ryanair’s future plans might depend on maintaining higher revenue. Especially given the current economic challenges.”
As the airline is not saddled with debts it has room to “play around” with its ticket prices, according to Michael Barton, senior write at Wallet Savvy.
He said:”When it comes to pricing, it’s not just about making the most money possible. Ryanair is playing smart—they lock in fuel prices early, so they’re not caught off-guard by market swings.
“This is a big part of why ticket prices are what they are. About the decision on whether Ryanair should reduce its fares goes beyond just profitability, it requires careful consideration of market demand, competitive pricing, and the airline’s long-term strategy.”
For the latest personal finance news, follow us on Twitter at @ExpressMoney_.