Ryanair Holdings PLC (LSE:RYA) saw passenger numbers in August boosted by EU Covid certificates.
The Irish airline said traffic rose to 11.1 mln passengers in August, up from 9.3mln in July and 7mln in the same month of 2020; when air travel was severely hit by restrictions related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The EU Covid Certificates are stimulating a recovery in the travel industry; Ryanair said in a statement.
The airline’s load factor – the percentage of seats filled – was 82% in August; compared with from 80% in July and 73% in August last year.
Earlier this week, Ryanair raised its traffic forecast for the rest of the year to 10.5mln passengers a month in September; October and November, from a previous estimate of 10mln.
“As long as there are no adverse Covid developments; things are set fair for a very strong recovery,” Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary told Reuters.
Flights should return to pre-COVID-19 2019 levels in October, he added, from close to 90% in September and 80% in August; though the airline will likely fly with 15-20% empty seats this winter compared with 7-8% before the pandemic.