On a pre-pandemic basis, Ryanair’s December traffic increased by 3%.
Europe’s largest airline by passenger volume, Ryanair, reported on Wednesday that it carried 11.5 million passengers in December, an increase of 3% over its prior pre-COVID peak for the Christmas travel season.
In comparison to its previous record of 149 million passengers, Ryanair anticipates flying 166.5 million people in the year ending in March.
In each of the previous nine months, it has reported transporting more people than during the corresponding pre-pandemic period.
Christmas bookings were ahead of levels in 2019, according to CEO Michael O’Leary, who also noted that average air costs were up by a low double-digit percentage as passengers travelled without limitations for the first time in three years.
In December of last year, Ryanair carried 9.5 million passengers; in December of 2020, only 1.9 million.
For the second consecutive month in December, the average percentage of unfilled seats per aircraft remained at 8%, up from 5% in December 2019.