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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Summer capacity for Ryanair will be higher than pre-pandemic levels, but recovery will be “fragile”

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Ryanair plans to run more flights this summer than it did before the outbreak, owing to the rapid delivery of new Boeing 737 MAX planes.

The airline, however, claims that recovery is still fragile, citing the conflict in Ukraine, mounting cost constraints, and the risk of more COVID shocks in winter 2022/23 as reasons.

On May 16, 2022, when it released its annual financial results, the Irish low-cost carrier revealed that it aims to operate 115 percent of its summer 2019 capacity in 2022.

“As we emerge out of COVID, the growth opportunities have never been stronger,” chief executive Michael O’Leary commented. Ryanair said it had gained market share in big markets such as Italy, Spain, Ireland, Poland, and Hungary.

“There is a strong recovery ongoing but it’s still fragile as we try to build up forward bookings,” O’Leary said. Ryanair is using a ‘load active yield passive’ strategy, where it lowers fares to try and fill its planes. It is aiming for load factors of over 90% in summer 2022 but also said fares could be above pre-COVID levels for the July-September quarter.

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