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Ryanair says ticket price rises likely to lag oil by 12 months

DUBLIN, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Ryanair expects higher oil prices to push up short-haul air fares in Europe, but not until 2019, chief executive Michael O’Leary said on Friday.

The global Brent crude benchmark briefly climbed above $70 a barrel in January for the first time in three years, up from about $50 for much of last year.

“I think the big challenge for airlines this year is that oil is up around $70 a barrel,” O’Leary told a conference call with investors, adding that the upward pressure on pricing is more likely in 2019 than this year. (Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by David Goodman)

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