Ryanair to return to profit with hopes of flying 165m passengers this year, says boss
Ryanair’s boss expects to return to profit this year, as the Irish airline looks to fly 165m passengers.
Chief executive Michael O’Leary has forecast carrier occupancy to climb to between 90 per cent and 95 per cent this summer.
The budget airline will once again be profitable once occupancy reaches 80 per cent, O’Leary told Spanish newspaper Cinco Dias.
It comes as the government scraps Covid-19 tests for fully vaccinated travellers, following sustained calls from the aviation industry to dial back curbs.
Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline in terms of passenger numbers, flew 130m passengers in the year to 2020.
However, the pandemic and its associated emergency measures meant saw the airline fly just 27m passengers the following year.
The recent emergence of the Omicron variant also dented Ryanair’s passenger numbers, which sank seven per cent between November and December as fresh travel restrictions were imposed across the continent.
The carrier said the number of passengers dropped to 9.5m last month – the lowest since July and down from 10.2m in November.
It ran 62,200 flights last month, with a load factor – a measure of how well an airline fills its planes – of 81 per cent, down from 86 per cent in November.