Ryanair’s passenger numbers surged in June, with the rollout of Covid-19 vaccination programmes across Europe boosting confidence in air travel.
The no-frills airline, which in June reported the biggest annual loss in its 35-year history, carried 5.3 million passengers on 38,000 flights last month. In June 2020, Ryanair carried only 400,000 passengers.
There has been a steady increase in passengers for Europe’s biggest airline in recent months – in April there were 1 million travellers and 1.8 million in May – as the easing of travel restrictions across parts of the continent fuels a gradual recovery in the hard-hit aviation industry.
The green shoots of recovery are also evident in traffic figures issued by Ryanair’s rival Wizz Air, which carried 1.55 million passengers last month. This is more than triple the 502,000 passengers who flew in the same month last year.
Last month, Ryanair and Manchester Airports Group, the UK’s largest airport group, which also operates Stansted and East Midlands airports, launched a legal challenge calling for transparency in the government’s handling of its contentious traffic light travel system for grading countries safe to visit.
Ryanair and MAG argue that ministers have not been clear about how the government has made decisions regarding the categorisation of countries as red, amber or green, which is undermining consumer confidence to book summer holidays.
Earlier this year the UK’s advertising watchdog banned Ryanair’s controversial “jab and go” holiday TV campaign, with the Advertising Standards Authority saying it encouraged the public to act irresponsibly once they had received a coronavirus vaccination.