Ryanair has reported a major spike in passengers in June, as COVID restrictions ease in Europe and more travellers get vaccinated.
In total, 5.3 million passengers were carried by Ireland’s budget airline last month, increasing its seat capacity to 72 per cent, compared with 67 per cent in April.
While this sum isn’t close to its pre-pandemic June numbers of 14.2 million, it is a significant increase from last June’s 400,000.
Ryanair operated over 38,000 flights, and the most popular destinations booked by travellers in June were Italy, Spain and Portugal.
Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, expects to carry over 8 million passengers in July, as the airline’s passenger schedule shows a 50 per cent increase in flights.
“There’s been a huge uptick in recovery in air travel across Europe. I think Europe, excluding Ireland, will recover to 75-80 per cent of normal traffic volumes through July, August and September,” O’Leary told Ireland’s Newstalk radio station.
It comes after Ryanair and Manchester Airports Group (MAG) teamed up to launch legal action against the Britain government over its strict travel rules.
This was to urge the government to ease rules that deter travel, such as quarantine and restrictions in low-risk countries, as the mid-year months are airlines’ most profitable period.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced only yesterday that COVID-19 restrictions would begin to ease despite soaring cases, proving to be a key step in restoring Europe – especially Ireland’s – major travel industry.
The Irish government just this week also announced it would receive a significant COVID-19 vaccine boost, securing an additional one million doses for the younger citizens of the country.
Last year, Ryanair reported a full-year loss of €815 million excluding hedge ineffectiveness, compared to 2019 which saw a profit of €1,002 million. 2021 traffic dropped 81 per cent while the airline struggled to keep up with a backlog of refund requests.
Despite this, the increase of confidence in air travel shows the industry is on its way back, and a research report from Market Research Future (MRFR) predicts the low-cost carrier market is anticipated to reach US$247.36 billion by 2025, expanding at a CAGR of 8.62 per cent, despite the repercussions of the pandemic, reported on GlobalNewsWire.
With the new ease of restrictions, Ryanair still maintains its mandatory mask rules regardless of destination or departing country, while other airlines loosen the reigns on coverings.