Ryanair is expecting a strong summer 2022, predicting load factors will to around 95% for the upcoming three months.
Speaking to Reuters on May 25, 2022, Ryanair’s chief executive officer (CEO) Michael O’Leary said the Irish low-cost carrier has already recorded strong booking levels, which “have continued to strengthen over the last number of weeks”.
According to the CEO, the strongest demand is for flights to leisure destinations such as Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.
O’Leary predicted load factors – how full planes are – would reach 95% between June and August of 2022, reflecting pent-up demand for air travel after a two-year pandemic-related hiatus. The CEO expects passenger demand in the current summer season to almost reach pre-pandemic levels.
“We’re probably heading for an economic downturn or a recession, but 60% or 80% (of the population) have been working from home over the last 2 years and they have huge, accumulated savings,” Reuters cited O’Leary as saying.
In an attempt to capture market share as travel demand recovers, Ryanair has sped up the delivery of new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Ryanair said it planned to operate over 70 new Boeing 737-8200 MAX aircraft, which it dubs the “Gamechanger”, in summer 2022. It had initially planned to have 65 of the aircraft in its fleet this summer.