Ryanair is back in business. At least that’s what its passenger numbers show, with 5.3 million passengers carried across the continent during June. The figure is up 3.5 million from the 1.8 million carried in May 2021 and even more from the 0.4 million moved in June 2020.
Across Europe, the number of flights being operated is on the rise. This has been driven by an increase in passenger numbers. After all, airlines aren’t keen to run flights that aren’t making money, especially at this time. The growth has been driven by a relaxation in travel restrictions, tied with falling infection numbers and rising vaccination rates.
Passenger numbers on the rise
While still nowhere near the 14.2 million passengers carried by Ryanair in June 2019, the airline will be happy with the surge of passengers seen in June 2021. In fact, June is the second-best month that Ryanair has had in terms of passengers carried since the start of COVID-19 and the best month since August 2020.
As you can see from the graph below, Ryanair’s passenger number follows the number of flights that it operates pretty closely. Not wanting to waste money, the airline generally avoids operating flights that won’t make money on a regular basis. The dark blue line shows the actual flights operated by the airline, according to data from RadarBox.com. Meanwhile, the light blue line shows scheduled flights according to aviation data experts Cirium.
The schedule shows that Ryanair is planning an increase in flights of roughly 50% from June to July. If the airline’s passenger numbers follow that increase, it should expect to carry 7.95 million passengers in July.
This would give Ryanair its best month since the start of COVID-19, with the best so far being seven million passengers in August 2020. If the airline were to achieve 7.95 million passengers next month, it would mean that traffic had recovered to 53.7% of pre-pandemic figures.
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Unhappy with Ireland’s “ongoing mismanagement”
While Ryanair should be happy with its increase in passenger numbers, it isn’t pleased with the Irish Government. Yesterday, the Ryanair Group boss, Michael O’Leary, wrote an open letter to the Irish Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, saying that the “ongoing mismanagement of air transport” is doing “untold damage to [the] economy and tourism infrastructure”.
O’Leary writes that there was no reason to restrict EU travel for European citizens who are fully vaccinated, asking Ryan to allow fully vaccinated travelers to move between Ireland and the continental EU, as fully vaccinated individuals pose no risk or threat to the “variant scariant lockdown narrative”.
What do you make of Ryanair’s surging passenger numbers? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!