Airline boss says uncertainty over Ukraine jeopardized pandemic recovery © Getty Images / SOPA Images / Contributor

The European flying public should expect higher prices this summer when it comes to booking flights, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has warned.

The cost of flying this summer will reach a “single-digit percent” high above pre-pandemic levels, the low-cost airline chief told BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Monday.

He cited “demand for the beaches of Europe” during the summer vacation months as behind the anticipated price hike. He also pointed to the conflict in Ukraine and its impact on the price of fuel. Bookings are around 10% behind pre-pandemic levels, he told CNBC’s Europe Squawk Box on Monday.

O’Leary said an expected economic downturn, an inflexible post-Brexit labor market in the UK and “continuing uncertainty” about the energy supply would lead to “inevitable fuel surcharges” in all competing airlines, whereas a very strong hedging position on jet fuel, 80%, allowed the airline to continue to offer lower prices to its customers. (RT)