Ryanair’s traffic has been on the rise in recent months. The Irish low-cost carrier is making massive strides with its return and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. While it is yet to reach the normal August/September traffic numbers, the airline said that it has now exceeded the passengers that it would normally see in the quiet winter months.
The traffic from August 2021 show that the company is en route to full recovery. Throughout the world, airlines are slowly seeing demand return for their flights. The short-haul is recovering quicker than the long-haul flight capacities mainly due to travel restrictions being somewhat looser locally.
The European aviation sector is doing quite well after the European Union (EU) launched its digital COVID-19 status certificate scheme that is evident in Ryanair’s passenger numbers.
Exceeding The Pre-Pandemic Numbers
Based on an official statement from Ryanair, the budget airline manage to carry an incredible 11.1 million passengers around Europe in August. That sits at 75% of the number of passengers carried in August 2019, which is quite impressive. Previously, the airline had predicted that it would carry 10 million passengers in August 2021.
What is more impressive about this achievement is that the last time the figure was exceeded was in December 2019, with about 100,000 more passengers due to the Christmas season. The airline carried around 11 million passengers in November 2019.
Notably, the pandemic started to affect the activities of the airline in March 2021. It means that the airline’s passenger numbers appear now to have reached the normal levels for the quiet winter season.
Ryanair also had an incredible load factor for the flights, indicating that capacity is getting perfectly and reasonably targeted and utilized. The budget airline had a load factor of around 82%, which means that, on average, at least four out of five seats on every aircraft were occupied.
While the load factor was not reported during the pandemic, it plunged to lows of 67% in April. It used to hover around 95% before the pandemic hit.
It is expected that the number of passengers might drop in the coming months. While the drop in numbers marked the beginning of a hard winter period in 2021, it will not be the same case this year. September is a little bit quieter for Ryanair historically as the school holidays come to an end.
Based on schedule data acquired from Cirium, Ryanair has a total of 68,729 flights scheduled for September 2021. That in itself is a drop from the 71,000+ flights operated in August. Given that factor, it might not come as a surprise in case 11.1 million is the maximum number of passengers Ryanair carries in a month this year.
Nonetheless, it appears like the airline is convinced that its recovery will continue in the coming months. Earlier this week, the airline unveiled 14 new routes from London in the winter season. The new routes are expected to generate up to 500 new jobs. The airline is continuing to take delivery of new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, aiming to use this type heavily next summer.