Low cost carriers Ryanair and Wizz Air continue to lead airline recovery in Europe, with data showing increases in passenger numbers and daily flights.
The two budget airlines have been more confident of their recovery prospects than other European carriers, boosted by their low-cost bases and focus on short haul flying.
Ryanair, Europe’s largest low-cost airline, carried 10.6 million passengers in September 2021, with a load factor of 81%.
That’s more than double the total from September 2020. It also represents 75% of the passengers it carried in September 2019, before the COVID-19 crisis. Its August 2021 passenger numbers were at 74% of pre-crisis levels.
Wizz Air, meanwhile, carried almost 3 million passengers in September 2021, with a load factor of 78%. That compares to 1.6 million in September 2020.
The eastern European-focused airline carried 3.8 million passengers in 2019, making the September 2021 traffic numbers equivalent to 79% of pre-crisis numbers. However, that is a slowing down from August, when it carried 3.6 million passengers, equivalent to 90% of its pre-pandemic traffic.
The two airlines published their latest traffic statistics on October 4, 2021.
For the last week in September, the Network was 29% down on 2019 levels. @wizzair closest to 2019, down just 8%. Good to see @British_Airways back in the top 10 with 462 flights/day@Transport_EU @ECACceac @A4Europe @IATA @eraaorg @EBAAorg @CANSOEurope @ACI_EUROPE pic.twitter.com/ql7LN3Fpl8— Eamonn Brennan (@eurocontrolDG) October 2, 2021
Meanwhile, European air traffic network manager Eurocontrol said on October 2, 2021, that in the last week in September, the network was just 29% down on 2019 levels in terms of the number of flights.
Wizz Air was closest to 2019 numbers at 92% of its daily flights. Ryanair was at 91% of its daily flights in the last week of September.