By Amy O’Brien | cityam.com
Budget carrier Ryanair reported flight traffic statistics on Wednesday that showed UK holidaymakers seized the opportunity to fly abroad in the last month as travel restrictions eased.
The total number of passengers taking Ryanair flights in July double to 9.3m, up from 4.4m in June.
In a sign that the air carrier deemed flights safer, Ryanair increased the “load factor” – i.e., the percentage of available seats that are filled – from 72 per cent in June to 80 per cent in July, as it ran over 61,000 flights.
Like other airlines and travel companies, Covid has battered the firm, causing losses of around £900m over the course of the pandemic.
The airline group posted a net loss of €273m for its first quarter — the three months to the end of June.
However, it last week announced that it could make a profit for the second quarter and even break even for the financial year.
Earlier in the month, Ryanair also announced it is hiring 2,000 new pilots as it recovers from the pandemic-induced extreme disruption that caused many to lose their jobs.
The air carrier will recruit the new pilots for crew planes over the next three years as part of its efforts to rebuild post-Covid.
“Throughout the pandemic, Ryanair has worked closely with our people to save jobs and we are delighted to start planning for a return to growth over the coming years as we recover from the Covid-19 crisis and grow to 200m guests by FY2024,” said the airline’s people director, Darrell Hughes.
Such bullish statements, as well as a return of some holiday destinations, have impressed investors and shares have since risen.