Ryanair Lisbon airport
A Ryanair plane taxis at Lisbon airport Rafael Marchante/Reuters

Ryanair may impose an airfare hike during the upcoming holiday season, its CEO Michael O'Leary said in a press briefing on Friday.

O'Leary claimed that airfares could be increased by 10 per cent because of delays in aircraft deliveries by Boeing. "We're doing our budgets based on a fare increase of between five to 10 per cent," he said during the briefing. Last year, the airline's fare prices saw a 17 per cent increase.

Boeing has been under immense pressure and scrutiny after a piece of the fuselage on one of its planes blew out mid-flight earlier in January.

Ryanair, Europe's biggest airline by passenger numbers, was expected to receive 57 Max 8-200 planes by the end of April, but the deliveries have been delayed.

O'Leary said they might get between 30 and 40 aircraft, which may force Ryanair to "announce some minor schedule cuts" by the end of March. The statement from O'Leary comes weeks after he expressed "confidence" in Boeing's leadership. Meanwhile, Boeing has said that it is working to address Ryanair's concerns.

"We (are taking) the necessary time to make sure that every airplane we deliver is high quality and meets all customer and regulatory requirements," a spokesperson from the company was quoted as saying by CNN.

"We deeply regret the impact this is having on our valued customer Ryanair. We're working to address their concerns and taking action on a comprehensive plan to strengthen 737 quality and delivery performance".

The January incident involving one of the planes manufactured by Boeing had forced airlines to temporarily ground 171 planes.

The head of its 737 MAX program was replaced after the scare. The episode also put Boeing under increased scrutiny by the Federal Aviation Administration regulatory body and lawmakers. The FAA had suspended most of Boeing's 737 MAX 9 planes after the incident.

Wizz Air, Europe's third-largest low-cost carrier, is also facing similar issues. It said that it may have to ground 10 per cent of its fleet temporarily. However, it plans to expand as soon as possible.

There have been quite a few safety-related issues reported in the airline industry in recent times. Just earlier this month, a United Airlines plane made an emergency landing after one of its engines shut down mid-flight. United Airlines Flight 575, carrying 138 passengers, was travelling from Charlotte to Houston but was forced to divert and land in Atlanta.

This came just after another United Airlines flight had to make an emergency landing due to a cracked windshield. The incident happened on a flight that was travelling from Las Vegas to Washington, DC, on January 28.