Ryanair saw passenger numbers rise to 11.1 million in August 2021, equivalent to three-quarters of pre-pandemic levels, the low-cost carrier announced on September 2, 2021.
Its load factor – a measure of how full its planes are – reached 82% in August 2021, an improvement on the 80% it saw in July 2021, when it carried 9.3 million passengers.
The August 2021 total represents just over 74% of the passengers it carried in August 2019, before the pandemic hit. Back then, it carried 14.9 million passengers with a load factor of 97%.
Ryanair group chief executive Michael O’Leary said in an interview with Reuters on August 31, 2021, that he was expecting “a very strong recovery” in European short-haul flights. He told the news agency that capacity should return to pre-pandemic levels in October, although he did not expect pricing to return to pre-crisis levels until the summer of 2022.
Ryanair’s strategy has typically been to fill seats, no matter how much it has to reduce ticket prices.