TRAVEL experts have warned passengers to book with smaller airlines this summer, instead of flying with larger carriers.
The head of European airport association ACI Europe is expecting "disruption and volatility" for airlines, but said budget companies will be least affected.
Olivier Jankovic told the Airport Operators’ Association (AOA) conference in London last week that low-cost airlines can better deal with rising fuel prices and increasing demand.
According to Travel Weekly, he said: “The network carriers have retrenched and are restraining capacity. They’re still planning capacity below what they offered in 2019.
“The low-cost carriers are the winners. They have younger fleets which give a hedge against fuel prices and have large fleet orders.
“Airline consolidation is on the cards but, for now, only by attrition.”
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Jankovic isn't the only aviation head to warn of airline consolidation, with Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary also saying the same could happen.
As part of that, airlines like easyJet and Wizz Air could be bought out by bigger carriers.
However, he expects Ryanair to thrive under the new conditions.
He told Reuters: "We are definitely, post-Covid, entering a four or five-year period of consolidation."
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O'Leary said he believed the sector in Europe would move towards having four large airlines: Lufthansa, Air France-KLM , IAG and and Ryanair.
Ryanair last month posted a record after-tax profit for its October-December quarter and said bookings for Easter and summer flights were "very robust", boosted by demand from Asian travellers and a strong U.S. dollar.
O'Leary said that he is expecting the lowest fares to "sell out early" and that people should book sooner rather than later.
He also warned that holidaymakers won't find fares as low as £9.99 for the next year or two because of high oil prices.
He said: "I don’t think you’ll see £9.99 flights for a long time."
The airline boss said: "Yes, there's lots of cheap seats out there, but it's not on the back of a seat sale."
Instead of flights under a tenner, Ryanair's spring flight prices are starting at £29.99.
Over the next three years, the average cost of a Ryanair flight will rise from €40 (£35.20) to €50 (£44.00).
These prices could even rise to €53 (£46.64) once passengers have included optional extras with their booking.
O'Leary added: "This year we’ll see high single-digit price increases for the second year in a row, which hasn’t happened in a very long time.
"That’s largely because the demise of Thomas Cook, Flybe, and IAG and Lufthansa has not put as much capacity back into the market."
Meanwhile, Brits have been issued a warning over visiting a popular holiday destination this year.
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Brits will also need a new visa-waiver to visit Europe this year.
The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will cost Brits an extra €7 (£6).
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