Ryanair & Wizz Air Both See Huge January Passenger Increases

Both carriers have reported a 70% jump in passenger levels compared to January 2022 as demand for low-cost travel remains high.

Low-cost carriers Ryanair and Wizz Air’s passenger levels have skyrocketed through January 2023 as demand for affordable travel sustains. Both airlines have reported year-on-year increases of around 70%, sitting above January 2020’s pre-pandemic figures.

Positive start to the year

Hungary-based Wizz Air reported 4,149,850 passengers across its network through January 2023, 73.1% higher than the same period in 2022. The load factor also saw a significant shift, jumping to 86% for the month. Through a 12-month period between January 2022 and 2023, Wizz Air doubled its passenger figures to over 47 million.


Irish budget powerhouse Ryanair posted similar results through the same period, with passengers carried shooting up 69% to 11.8 million for January 2023 as it operated over 68,000 flights. Across the rolling 12-month period, the airline reported a 111% increase to 165.3 million passengers. Load factor also saw a noticeable increase, hopping 12% from January 2022’s 79% to 91% for January 2023

The publication of the month’s results proved to be a positive boost for both airlines. Ryanair’s Holdings company saw a 2.7% increase in share prices on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday, while Wizz Air’s share prices increased by 4.3%.

Ryanair Boeing 737 MAX

Photo: Bradley Caslin/Shutterstock

Slow fourth quarter for Ryanair

Q3 2022 proved to be a turning point for both carriers. Despite a slow start to 2022, pent-up demand bolstered Ryanair and Wizz Air’s financials over the summer season, carrying through into the autumn and winter.

Ryanair quickly rebounded after a slight lag in passenger levels for November, reporting a massive €211 million ($231 million) profit for the quarter. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary cited the bankruptcy and state-finance requirements of multiple airlines across Europe, allowing the carrier to grow thanks to its reliability and lowered costs.

While a loss is predicted for Q4 due to the Easter period falling in early April for 2023, Ryanair has begun growing its network for Summer 2023, adding a range of routes out of its Irish bases in Dublin (DUB) and Shannon (SNN). Most recently, the airline announced 19 new routes in Portugal. Eight destinations have been added from the Algarve’s gateway Faro (FAO), and 11 from the Northern city of Porto (OPO), bringing its total weekly flights into the country to 1,600.

Wizz Airbus jet landing

Photo: Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock

Wizz Air’s 2023 plans

Similarly, Wizz Air reported a lucrative Q3, adding to Q2’s operational profit. An overall net loss is predicted for the financial year, owed to an increase in operating costs and slow demand during Q1 however, the carrier is expected to return to profit for the 2023/2024 financial year.

In January, Wizz Air looked to be scaling back several services from London Gatwick (LGW) and London Luton (LTN) into Southern Europe. In its place, the carrier is ramping up connections to Turkey, adding Istanbul (IST), Antalya (AYT), and Dalaman (DLM) to its London network, as well as several other bases across Europe.

Wizz Air has also notably been boosting its presence in the Middle East, connecting 12 destinations across Europe to Saudi Arabia.

Will you be traveling with Ryanair or Wizz Air this summer? Let us know in the comments.

Sources: London Stock Exchange

  • Wizz Air Getty Gdansk

    Wizz Air

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Ultra-Low-Cost Carrier

    Year Founded:

    József Váradi


  • Ryanair Boeing 737


    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Low-Cost Carrier

    Dublin Airport, London Stansted Airport, Milan Bergamo Airport

    Year Founded:

    Airline Group:
    Ryanair Group

    Eddie Wilson


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