Ryanair made history this morning by flying over 18 million guests for the first time in one month, as the Irish carrier and its rival Wizz Air both reported soaring passenger numbers for July amid booming summer travel demand.
Ryanair’s record breaking month saw its traffic grow 11 per cent from 16.8 million the previous year.
Wizz Air, meanwhile, carried 6 million passengers, representing a 26.6 per cent increase compared to July 2022.
Both low-cost carriers also saw strong load factors – the percentage of available seating capacity that has been filled with passengers – with Ryanair and Wizz Air at 96 per cent and 94.9 per cent respectively.
The results come amid a record season of travel this summer, which has seen the aviation sector benefit from pent-up demand post-pandemic and resilient consumer spending on holidays despite the cost of living crisis.
Airlines have netted bumper profits so far, with Ryanair flying past pre-pandemic profit levels to £572m for the three months up to June. It did, however, lower its passenger forecast for the rest of the year in the same announcement, citing Boeing delivery delays.
Long-haul specialist and British Airways’ owner IAG netted a colossal €1.25bn (£1.07bn) profit later that week, while Easyjet has forecast record profits for the rest of the peak season.
Wizz Air is set to report its first quarter results tomorrow.
Conroy Gaynor, travel, leisure and retail analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, noted that “fuel prices, albeit volatile, look more favourable this year,” which “should help Wizz return to profit, with the company forecasting €350-€450 million for the year to March.”