Ryanair Smashes Pre-COVID Passenger Record With 15.9M Guests In June

While chaos continues to plague the European aviation industry, Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair has gone from strength to strength. The airline handled 15.9 million passengers in June 2022, a new internal record. While some of the industry is undoubtedly struggling, this represents a 7% increase from the carrier’s pre-covid passenger record set in August 2019.

While some of the aviation industry is still reeling from the sector’s worst-ever crisis, for a handful of airlines, it is already back to business as usual. No airline seems better to indicate the industry’s recovery potential than a sizeable European airline that some passengers love, and others hate.


A new passenger record

May was already an exciting month for Ryanair. It was the third month in a row that Ryanair had exceeded the corresponding 2019 traffic level. But that wasn’t all. With 15.4 million passengers, the Irish low-cost carrier carried more passengers than any other month in its 37-year history.

After a rough couple of years, Ryanair is breaking passenger records again. Graph: Simple Flying

The airline did it again this month, clocking an impressive 15.9 million passengers (far more than many airlines manage in an entire year). 15.9 million is a 12% increase on the 2019 passenger figure for June. With the airline’s Ukraine operations remaining suspended, the airline managed the feat without even serving its complete pre-pandemic network.

Could it happen again?

The question now is whether Ryanair can reach a third record-breaking month in a row. Previous data would suggest that it could be possible. Historically, the airline’s passenger traffic increases in July and August. It also has some wiggle room left in its load factor.

It’s almost impossible for an airline to reach a 100% load factor, as this would mean selling every seat on every flight. However, Ryanair gets close. The airline’s load factor was 95% for June 2022. At the previous record passenger level in August 2019, the airline managed to fill 97% of all operated seats, suggesting that further gains be secured from its existing operations. Meanwhile, every additional Boeing 737 MAX 8-200 delivered means the airline can operate another handful of daily flights.

Where is Ryanair flying the most?

The UK was one of the first nations to drop COVID-19 travel requirements altogether, allowing Ryanair’s most significant base to bounce back successfully.

London Stansted Airport remains Ryanair’s biggest base. Photo: Getty Images

According to schedule data from Cirium, the airline’s main base at London Stansted Airport remains its busiest, with 5,245 departures scheduled for June (an average of 175 each day). While this sounds impressive, it only accounts for 6% of total Ryanair departures in June, showing how widespread the airline’s operations are. In total, the airline was scheduled to operate 87,184 flights in June across its entire network spanning most of Europe and some of North Africa. This equates to around 2,900 departures across the network last month.

What do you make of Ryanair’s impressive June traffic results? Will July prove even better for the airline? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!

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