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Ryanair fares set for fuel bill hike.

FARES at budget airline Ryanair look set to rise by up to 12 per cent because of surging oil prices.

The Irish carrier, who have a fleet of 272 planes, expect traffic to grow by four per cent to 75million passengers in the year to March 2012.

But numbers will fall in the second half of that period, as the airline expect to ground 80 planes over the winter - including 50 new jets from Boeing.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary said the new planes will be "parked" at European airports until economic conditions improve.

Some UK provincial airports will also see fewer flights.

O'Leary said: "The aim is to lose less money in the winter months."

Ryanair reported a 26 per cent increase in underlying pre-tax profits to pounds 277million in the year to March 31.

But they warned that earnings would flatline in the current year because of high fuel costs.

O'Leary said the fare increase will only cover an expected rise in fuel costs of pounds 304million.

The company's fuel bill rose by 37 per cent to pounds 1billion in the last financial year.

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FARE RISE: O'Leary
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 24, 2011
Words:190
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