63% Recovery: Ryanair Clocks Impressive 9.3M Passengers In July

Ryanair has posted impressive recovery statistics for July 2021. The airline carried 9.3 million passengers around Europe with a load factor of 80%. This was a considerable increase on the 5.3 million travelers carried in June and the 4.4 million carried in July 2020. It does still leave the airline a way off its pre-pandemic figure of 14.8 million passengers.

Ryanair, Recovery, Passengers
Ryanair carried 9.3 million passengers during July 2021. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Aviation in Europe is well on the way to recovery, with airlines such as Lufthansa even going as far as bringing Boeing 747-400s out of storage. Ryanair isn’t being left out of the numbers, with its flight schedule almost reaching that seen before the pandemic on some days.

63% passenger recovery

As revealed above, Ryanair saw the number of passengers carried recover to 63% of its pre-pandemic traffic figure during July. 9.3 million passengers is the most carried by Ryanair since February 2020, when 10.5 million passengers were carried. Of course, the airline would still need another 5.5 million passengers to reach its pre-pandemic passenger load.

Previously, Ryanair revealed that it expected to carry 10 million passengers in August. This would give the airline 67% of its pre-pandemic August traffic. However, given recent changes by the UK government that put quarantine free travel for those vaccinated in the EU back on the cards, the airline could well exceed this estimate.

Ryanair, Recovery, Passengers
Ryanair achieved its best month since February 2020. Data: Ryanair

Flight numbers returning to near normal

Even more impressive for Ryanair is that its number of flights operated is returning to near normal. On August 1st, 2021, the airline operated 2,424 flights, according to data from RadarBox.com. This compares to 2,392 on August 1st, 2019. Of course, readers should note that this isn’t a direct comparison as we’re comparing a Sunday to a Thursday, and flight levels fluctuate through the course of a week.

Ryanair, Recovery, Passengers
Ryanair’s flight numbers are nearing pre-pandemic levels. Photo: RadarBox.com

According to schedule information from aviation data experts Cirium, Ryanair has 70,489 flights planned for August 2021. This will be a decrease of 6.4% from the 75,328 flights operated in August of 2019. The reason that the passenger recovery seems worse than the flight recovery is that Ryanair was running with a 97% load factor in August 2019, whereas this fell to 80% in July 2021.

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Ryanair’s Boeing 737-800s seat 189 passengers each. Assuming that all 70,489 flights run and are not operated by the Boeing 737 MAX which has extra seats, the airline would operate 13,322,421 seats during August. With a load factor of 80%, the airline would expect roughly 10.7 million passengers for the month.

Ryanair, Recovery, Passengers
Ryanair is predicting 10 million passengers for August. Data: Ryanair | RadarBox.com | Cirium

Of course, it could fluctuate up or down depending on how many flights Ryanair actually operates and if the load factor changes. Increasing vaccinations tied with fewer travel restrictions seem to bode well for passenger numbers, but any further lockdowns in Europe could undo Ryanair’s recovery, as was seen last year.

What do you make of Ryanair’s July passenger recovery? Will the positive trend continue into August? Let us know what you think and why in the comments down below!