Ukraine's ambassador to Ireland has slammed low-cost carrier Ryanair for its high prices on repatriation flights out of Ukraine. Larysa Gerasko made the comments regarding Ryanair's flights out of Poland, which are being used by refugees fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.

Ryanair price hikes on Polish flights

The Ukrainian ambassador to Ireland, Larysa Gerasko, has criticized Irish airline Ryanair for high pricing on key refugee routes out of Poland. Gerasko said,

"Ryanair raised the prices and it's unfortunate, and I'm waiting for a meeting with the Minister for Transport of Ireland (Eamon Ryan)."

Gerasko told a European Union Affairs Committee at Leinster House on Tuesday that she had written to the airline a week ago but hadn't received a reply. Senator Sharon Keogan said that the price hikes were "unforgivable."

Ryanair Boeing 737 Poland Krakow
Poland is one of the busiest repatriation zones for Ukrainian citizens fleeing the conflict. Photo: Getty Images

The ambassador welcomed the idea of arranging official charter flights suggested by Sinn Féin Deputy John Brady and also called for improved facilities and services for refugees arriving in Dublin, such as translators. Gerasko added,

"We would be very grateful for [charter flights], because it is very difficult to buy tickets from Warsaw or from Krakow to Dublin."

Ryanair "should make flights free"

Fianna Fáil Senator, Gerry Horkan, has suggested that, rather than raising its fares, Ryanair should provide free flights to refugees with its 400-plus aircraft. The senator suggested offering services out of Poland, Moldova, Romania and other nearby countries. Horkan said,

"I don't think it would be up beyond their capabilities to do that. And I think a lot of us who do fly Ryanair, and who do use Ryanair, would appreciate right now if Ryanair could say, ‘Look, on this occasion, in this traumatic war situation’ that they would fly services at zero cost."

Hungarian LCC Wizz Air has committed to providing 100,000 free seats to those escaping the Ukraine conflict. The airline has also ensured it will keep fare prices low for Ukrainians stranded in neighboring countries.

Ryanair Poland Krakow Airport
Ryanair was the single largest operator in Ukraine before the conflict. Photo: Getty Images

Ryanair plans Ukraine return

Ryanair CEO, Michael O'Leary, has claimed that the airline will be the first to return to Ukraine. O'Leary stated,

"We will be the first airline to return to Ukraine when it is safe to do so. But I suspect it will take until next winter, when hopefully the Ukrainians will have seen off the Russians and sent them back to where they came from."

O'Leary also noted that Ryanair is flying humanitarian cargo "for the first time in 30 years" on flights to Poland.

Ryanair Boeing 737 In Amsterdam
Ryanair had over two million seats planned for Ukraine this year. Photo: Getty Images

Before the conflict in Ukraine, Ryanair was the largest operator in Ukraine, providing more daily flights than Ukraine International Airlines. The carrier was set to fly around two million passengers to four destinations in Ukraine this year before suspending all flights.

What are your thoughts on Ryanair's high fares from Poland? Do you think the airline should offer free flights? Let us know in the comments.

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