LONDON – Traffic figures released by Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair (FR) show a 53% drop for the month of August. Currently, the airline is currently operating around 60% of its total schedule due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Passenger numbers fell to seven million last month from 14.9 million in the same period last year. Additionally, annual traffic for the airline has dropped by 40% to 88.9 million, with load factors being recorded at 73%.
July and August have been pretty difficult months for FR as of late. The start of July saw the airline’s June traffic fall to almost nil, handling around 400,000 passengers in that one month.
Later on in that month, Ryanair announced it would shut down all of its German bases due to failed talks over pay cuts.
At the end of July, the airline recorded a 99% total drop in traffic, but still gave the view of outlook being strong. Then, first quarter results saw numbers dip to just 500,000 passengers handled from 42 million passengers the year previously.
Forecasts, therefore, had to be changed at the time to 60 million passengers from 149 million. In August, the airline then announced it would cut capacity by 20% due to demand notably weakening over a ten day period.
Reduced Drops Show Recovery?
July 2020 traffic produced a fall of 70% in passenger numbers, compared to 14.8 million to July 2019. With that in mind, the 53% drop in traffic shows a reduction in such negative outcomes.
With consumers beginning to book more travel, especially with the use of Ryanair’s Find the Fivers initiative, it remains clear that efforts are being made to restore numbers as fast as possible.
A Healthy Restart
It will be interesting to see how many people first of all Find the Fivers, but more importantly, continue to fly with Ryanair during this pandemic.
With restrictions still in place across Europe, the pressure has now been applied on the respective governments to bring air travel back to a healthy restart.
Featured Image: Ryanair B737-8AS taking off from Naples International Airport (NAP). Photo: Marco Macca – @aviator_ita