Ryanair, the no-frills airline, unveiled a one million seat fire-sale offering flights to Europe for as cheap as £5.
The Dublin-based carrier is trying to win back customers through hundreds of rock-bottom prices this winter after one of the company’s worst weeks in its history.
Next week, a one-way flight from London Stansted to Grenoble, southern France, will be available for £4.99.
Ryanair is also offering £5 flights from Stansted to Lorient in north-west France.
Flights between the United Kingdom and destinations including Strasbourg in France, Gdansk in Poland, and Aalborg in Denmark will be available from £7.99.
The airline has survived a rough past few days after a “mess up” with the holiday rosters of pilots resulted in the cancellation of more than 2,000 services until the end of October.
An estimated 315,000 passengers were affected by the problem, and the airline is facing a compensation and refund bill that is running to more than €20 million.
At least 315,000 passengers were affected by the issue, and the airline faces a compensation and refund bill running to more than €20 million.
Its reputation has received a battering because many passengers were given just a few hours’ notice of cancelled flights during the first wave, resulting in ruined holiday plans, travellers stuck abroad or at home, and facing a nightmare of attempting to claw back money that was already paid out for car hire and hotels.
Michael O’Leary, the Ryanair boss, has also been negotiating with his pilots who have warned to “work to rule” over pay and conditions.
The pilots have rejected a €12,000 bonus to forego holidays to let the airline out of this bad patch – provoking O’Leary to threaten to force them to work or walk.
Ryanair is said to have lost around 700 pilots to Norwegian, its rival, which has built a hub at Dublin, and grants better pay and a full-time contract.
This new winter flight sale offer is an attempt to bring back passengers onside through their wallets.
For each passenger availing the offer, Ryanair will have to shell out £13 in Air Passenger Duty — even though it will expect to make up the difference through add-ons such as paying to reserve special seats.
However, peak school half-term holiday flights are much more costly. For example, flying from Stansted to Barcelona Girona on the 21st of October, back a week later, currently costs £207 return.