By Klaus Lauer
BERLIN (Reuters) – Ryanair expects traffic in August to “slightly” surpass the record 18.7 million passengers it flew in July, with bookings for September and October so far coming in exactly as expected, a senior executive told Reuters on Monday.
The Irish airline, Europe’s largest by passenger numbers, carried a record number of monthly passengers in May, June and July and expects a post-pandemic travel rebound to push traffic for its financial year to March 2024 9% higher year-on-year.
“It should be slightly more (than July)… people are still travelling,” said Eddie Wilson, the head of Ryanair DAC, the largest airline in the group.
“We don’t see anything unusual in terms of our bookings, the momentum of bookings are indicating to us that the booking curve is going to fill out exactly as we predict,” Wilson added in relation to bookings in September and October.
Ryanair cautioned late last month that fares for passengers booking close to their departure dates softened in late June and early July.
However, Wilson said those comments were “blown out of proportion” and that the budget carrier’s guidance for a low double-digit percentage rise in fares this quarter was unchanged.
Wilson was in Berlin to warn the German government against hiking “already excessive” aviation security fees. He said that Ryanair “would like to grow in Germany” but does not need to do so to reach its overall goal of flying 300 million passengers a year by March 2034.
Ryanair trimmed its full-year passenger forecast last month to 183.5 million passengers from 185 million due to the impact of air traffic control strikes and potential further Boeing delivery delays.
Wilson said on Monday that Ryanair had now received all its new aircraft for this summer and was happy with the schedule Boeing has provided for the next tranche of deliveries from October.
“At the moment we have an agreed timetable. We don’t anticipate any delays but we have had problems in the past so we’ll review it closer in,” he said.
(Reporting Klaus Lauer; Writing by Padraic Halpin in Dublin; Editing by David Goodman and Sharon Singleton)