Ryanair is expecting to fly more passengers this autumn than in the summer, raising its target for the next three months as it predicts “a very strong recovery”.
The budget short-haul airline, Europe’s largest carrier, said it would fly about 10.5 million passengers a month through to November, sobre 5% more than its target announced a month ago.
Before a press briefing to launch new routes, the chief executive, Michael O’Leary, told Reuters he expected passenger numbers to return, as the airline brought its flight capacity back towards typical pre-pandemic levels for October.
“As long as there are no adverse Covid developments, things are set for a very strong recovery," él dijo.
O’Leary said Ryanair was likely to have exceeded its 10.5 million passenger target for August.
“Through the winter, pricing will continue to build, but it will still be below (pre-)COVID-19," él dijo. “We don’t expect pricing to go back to pre-Covid levels until the summer of 2022.”
En julio, the airline said it would fly 100 million passengers over the financial year to March 2022 after bookings surged with travel restrictions easing after vaccination programmes around Europe, although it continued to forecast losses.
It has said it would need to recruit 2,000 pilots over the next three years to rebuild after the pandemic, and has started to take delivery of its first Boeing 737 Max aircraft, which O’Leary has labelled a “gamechanger” for its enhanced fuel efficiency and costs per seat.
O’Leary has said the airline is well positioned to profit from the crisis, which he says will hit weaker rivals harder.