Plane-in-the-air

Ryanair could be doing free flights in just five years’ time

Their CEO thinks they'll soon be giving flights away

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Ryanair could be doing free flights in just five years’ time

More and more of us are booking with budget airlines for our trips away, allowing us to spend more money while we're there instead of frittering it all away on expensive flights. 

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary suggested that 'most' of the company's fares could be free within a decade.

Of course, it means getting used to a 'no frills' service - there's no more free peanuts after take off and most of us either eat in the airport, or pick up a packed lunch to go. 

But if it means cheaper flights, we're all on board. 

And now one low-cost airline has announced that in the next 5-10 years, they might even be giving flights away for free. 

Talking at the Airport Operators Association conference in London yesterday, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary suggested that 'most' of the company's fares could be free within a decade. 

But how can they just give flights away? 

Well, according to the CEO, the airline will still make money from the flights, but it will get it from sharing revenues with European airports instead. 

He said: “The challenge for us in the future is to keep driving air fares down. I have this vision that in the next five to 10 years that the air fares on Ryanair will be free, in which case the flights will be full, and we will be making our money out of sharing the airport revenues; of all the people who will be running through airports, and getting a share of the shopping and the retail revenues at airports.”

On top of that, he said that proposed cuts in Air Passenger Duty (APD) would allow airlines to still make a profit without having to charge passengers for their seats. 

O’Leary explained: “If [air passenger duty] is gone: at many airports I’m paying more than £20 already with APD and fees, if I start getting that back, why not? I’m doing seat sales this week at £4 and I’m paying the £13 APD – I’m paying you to fly with me."

"Instead of promotional tickets being £9 or £5 they will be free.”

Of course, you'll still have to look out for those extra charges - for checking in luggage, for choosing a seat in advance and for in-flight meals - but it still means budget air travel in the future could become even cheaper. 

Which means a little extra money to spend on piña coladas by the pool. 

The future's suddenly looking a little brighter!