Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.36 3 May 2020


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Flight prices could be back to 1980 levels if the airline industry struggles to recover after the coronavirus pandemic.

That is according to travel expert Eoghan Corry.

It comes amid job cuts across the industry, with Ryanair announcing plans to cut up to 3,000 jobs.

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Aer Lingus is also planning to axe up to 900 positions.

Its parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), has warned that it will take "several years" to get passenger numbers back to 2019 levels.

And it also plans to cut up to 12,000 jobs at British Airways.

The Health Minister Simon Harris has said the prospect of anyone going on a summer holiday this year is "highly unlikely".

Mr Corry told Newstalk Breakfast that when the crisis is over, airlines might have to charge more.

"What the medical experts and politicians have been saying is that we didn't have a coordinated response to the travel lockdown at the start - we need a coordinated response to its recovery.

"That was the clear message from the transport ministers meeting on Wednesday."

"What Simon Harris said yesterday is that he's not trying to stop the airlines from flying - he said that two weeks quarantine on your return turns a two week holiday into a four week holiday".

On flight prices, he said: "If the number of routes out of Dublin and the number of frequencies, let's say the Malaga's go down to two flights day from 14 a day, we're back to the 1980s.

"We're back to paying huge amounts of money for flights because there's so few options".

But he said domestic tourism will see a big increase, once there is certainty.

"What will be happening is we'll have the mother and father of all sales, once we have a clear run.

"Hotels are going to be scrambling for whatever cash they can."

"It'll be a great year for bargains if household finances - which are also under siege - can sustain them, but it'll be a terrible year for business".

Main image: Airplanes queue to take off at London's Heathrow Airport. Picture by: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/PA Images

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