Ryanair carried 10.6m passengers last month

Figure is double September 2020, but trails pre-Covid total

Ryanair flew 10.6 million passengers in September, maintaining traffic above the 10 million-mark breached in August for the first time since Covid-19 struck in March 2020. Photograph: Getty Images

Ryanair flew 10.6 million passengers in September, maintaining traffic above the 10 million-mark breached in August for the first time since Covid-19 struck in March 2020. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Ryanair flew 10.6 million passengers in September, maintaining traffic above the 10 million-mark breached in August for the first time since Covid-19 struck in March 2020.

Figures published by the airline on Monday show it sold 81 per cent of the seats on the 69,500 flights it operated last month.

The September total was down on August, when Ryanair carried 11.1 million passengers, as the airline operated 1,500 fewer flights last month.

September’s total is more than twice the 5.2 million passengers flown in the same month last year.

However, the 10.6 million figure trails the 14.1 million recorded in September 2019, before the pandemic struck, wreaking havoc on European air travel.

Last month’s figure is slightly ahead of the 10.5 million predicted in August by Ryanair Holdings chief executive, Michael O’Leary.

He said that the airline could carry 10.5 million passengers in each month of September, October and November this year.

The Irish airline group will have the same capacity, that is the number of flights and available seats, during those months as it did before Covid-19.

But it expects to sell between 82 per cent and 85 per cent of the seats on its flights, against more than 90 per cent normally.

Schedules

As long as there are no further adverse Covid developments, Mr O’Leary said that the company was “set fair for a strong recovery”.

Last week, Ryanair said that it would restore full pre-Covid summer schedules at Cork and Shannon airports next year.

The airline predicted that Dublin Airport schedules would be 35 per cent lower, blaming the Government for failing to fund the extension of incentives at the capital’s gateway to October 2022 from next June.

In response, the Department of Transport said that a €26 million Covid supplementary supports scheme enabled State airports, including Dublin’s owner, DAA, to offer route incentives and charge rebates in consultation with airlines.

“This includes the appropriate timings for providing these types of incentives,” the department added.