Ryanair Breaks Own Record

Ryanair flew a record 16.9m passengers during the month of August as the budget airline continues its path to recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is the fourth month in a row where the budget airline has posted record passenger numbers. Ryanair said that passenger numbers had grown 242% annually to August this year, with the company flying just 11m people in August 2021. The airline reported that it carried 148m passengers in the last 12 months.

The  carrier, which unlike many airlines made a point of keeping its pilots and crew up-to-date with their flying hours during the pandemic, flew 16.9m passengers in August compared to a pre-COVID peak of 14.9m in August 2019.

Last week, Ryanair flew an average of over 3,000 flights a day, almost double the 1,600 flights of its next largest rival, EasyJet, according to European air traffic control agency Eurocontrol.

Its load factor, which measures how well an airline is filling available seats, reached 96% in August. Ryanair's load factor regularly reached at least 96% a month before the pandemic and hit 97% in June 2019.

The  airline expects to fly 15% more passengers this summer than in the same season of 2019 and will carry a record 165m passengers in the year to March 2023. It carried just under 100m passengers in the year to March 2022 and its pre-COVID record high was 149m.