Ryanair is a low-cost European airline passing through small airports. This year, the average airfare of Ryanair is $48 with a checked bag included. Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's CEO, gained attention from many people from his speech last November 22, 2016. O'Leary stated that Ryanair may offer free flights for passengers.
According to reports from Travel and Leisure and Telegraph, O'Leary said " I have a vision that in the next five to 10 years that the airfares 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 the share of the shopping and the retail revenues at airports."
However, in order to achieve this vision, O'Leary expressed that the challenge is to bring airfares down. By bringing airfares down, he suggests of sharing a profit with the airport's gains on their facilities including shops and restaurants that airlines bring into the airport. Furthermore, the free flights will also be achieved through the abolishment of the extra charges called the Air Passenger Duty (APD) that accumulates up to £13 to £78 of an airplane tickets price. He said: "At many airports I'm paying more than £20 already with APD and fees" and added, "If I start getting them 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."
With all these in mind, O'Leary thinks these will all be possible on airports longing for development and not on those big, popular airports. "But for most of the other airports who are looking for big traffic growth, that process is already starting to happen, lowering airport fees and some of the charges." The airline aims to increase their passengers to over 200 million by 2024.