Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary today said that the budget airline was recovering at a faster rate than its European competitors after a surge in passenger numbers in August.
The Irishman said that passenger numbers for this month were on track to hit 10.5m, up from 9.3m in July, and double the 5m the carrier flew in June.
As a result, O’Leary said that the carrier was on course to hit its target to fly between 90m and 100m people over the current financial year.
That compares to a pre-pandemic peak of 149m passengers.
“Ryanair is recovering strongly, much faster than other any airline in Europe. Bookings are increasing very rapidly,” he told a press conference in Lisbon.
“Bookings for the remainder of this year, through September, October, November are looking very strong, but pricing is weak. We are selling a lot of cheap seats to recover the market very quickly.”
As with the rest of the transport industry, the pandemic has battered Ryanair, which posted a €273m loss in its most recent quarterly results.
However, despite 18 months of travel restrictions, the carrier remains in a position of relative fiscal strength due to the depth of its balance sheet.
It has also continued to expand its footprint, introducing 379 new routes and 10 new bases.
Today, however, it was confirmed that Ryanair would end its operations at both of Belfast’s airports in the coming months.
It only restarted flights from Belfast City Airport in May after 11 years of absence, but the lack of demand has seen the flier now decide to pull out again.