EasyJet defends £1,000 prices for Champions League final flights

Easyjet airplanes are seen at Berlin's airport in Schoenefeld, Germany on on May 8, 2019.  (Photo by Emmanuele Contini/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

EasyJet chief Johan Lundgren said on Friday that "enormous" demand was to blame for eye-watering ticket prices for next month's Champions League final in Madrid.

Earlier this month, Liverpool mayor Steve Rotheram complained that the cheapest return flights that fans could purchase still cost close to £1,000.

The 1 June final in the Spanish capital, between Liverpool and Tottenham, is the first involving two British teams since 2008.

"I can understand if people think that the prices are high on this occasion, because it is higher than the average," Lundgren told BBC radio.

"But there's no doubt that this was an occasion where the prices went very high because the demand was enormous."

Lundgren said his airline's "pricing picture is very dynamic," noting that EasyJet could fill a plane in six seconds in peak periods.

On Twitter, Rotheram claimed that the prices were a result of EasyJet "quite simply profiteering from the passion of football fans."

"This is nothing new but entirely shameful," the Liverpool mayor wrote.

In response, the airline insisted it does not "artificially" interfere with prices. EasyJet said it believed its prices were "competitive in comparison to other airlines flying around the same time."

"As with all airlines, our pricing is demand-led, which means that as more seats are booked on a flight the price will rise so our fares start low and increase the closer it is to the date of departure."

Lundgren's defence comes on the same day the airline released its financial results for the first half of the year.

The low-cost carrier warned that fares in the second half of the year would be "slightly down" as a result of Brexit-related market uncertainty and a wider economic slowdown in Europe.

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