Strong Bookings Keep Ryanair On Course To Hit Targets
Ryanair is on track to hit upgraded guidance on passenger numbers, carrying more than 10 million people this month as a post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery continues with strong bookings to year-end, group chief executive Michael O'Leary has said.
The Irish airline said last month that it expected to fly between 90 million and 100 million people in the 12 months to the end of March 2022, against a peak of 149 million before the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Ryanair is recovering strongly, much faster than other any airline in Europe...Bookings are increasing very rapidly," O'Leary told a news conference in Lisbon.
After flying five million passengers in June, representing a third of 2019 levels, numbers soared to 9.3 million in July and are expected to reach about 10.5 million in August, he added.
"Bookings for the remainder of this year, through September, October, November are looking very strong, but pricing is weak...We are selling a lot of cheap seats to recover the market very quickly," O'Leary said.
The airline also said this week that it will cease operations at Belfast's two airports from the end of the summer schedule in October, citing the British government's refusal to suspend or reduce air passenger duty and a lack of post-pandemic recovery incentives from both airports.
"These aircraft will be reallocated to lower-cost airports elsewhere in the UK and Europe for the winter schedule, which starts in November," the company said in a statement.
Ryanair Announces Launch Of Fifth Year In Partnership With Erasmus Student Network
In other Ryanair news, the airline has announced the launch of its fifth year in partnership with the Erasmus Student Network (ESN).
In a statement published on corporate.ryanair.com, Ryanair that on Wednesday August 25, it and ESN "celebrated the launch of their fifth year in partnership, which will help European students to finally resume their exchange projects. This partnership offers Erasmus students a dedicated ESN booking platform on the ryanair.com website, where they can avail of 10% flight discounts on four one-way flights (two round-trips) and a free 20kg checked-in bag with every flight booked.
"Since 2017, ESN students have travelled on even lower fares across the Ryanair network. This exclusive partnership has now reached over 500,000 bookings by Erasmus Student Network members on its exclusive dedicated platform. This year, Ryanair is committed to support the recovery of mobility for Erasmus Students across Europe. Now live on www.ryanair.com, students from all Europe can again avail of these exclusive travel discounts with Ryanair."
In a statement also published on corportate.ryanair.com, Ryanair's director of marketing, Dara Brady, said, "Ryanair and ESN are proud to launch year five of their exclusive partnership to promote student mobility by offering university students across Europe a range of exclusive flight offers, 20kgs free bags and tailored discounts to suit their budget on our Erasmus Student Network dedicated platform. After challenging times for student mobility, Ryanair is delighted to bring support to the recovery of the incredible opportunities offered by the Erasmus program.
"ESN students have travelled on even lower fares since the beginning of the ESN partnership in 2017 with over half a million bookings on the dedicated platform. We hope many more ESN students will avail of these fantastic discounts over the coming months and years. Any Erasmus student with a valid ESN card can sign up via the 'MyRyanair' registration service and save even more while they travel on Europe's biggest airline with the widest route network and the lowest fares."
In another statement published on corporate.ryanair.com, president of ESN 2021/2022 Juan Rayón González said, "The partnership between Ryanair and ESN aims to make learning mobility experiences more accessible and affordable for students all over Europe. At ESN, we believe that the transformative potential of the exchange experience is only reached if financial obstacles are removed. It shouldn't be more difficult for less well-off students and those from Europe's periphery to take part in learning mobility. This partnership will allow students to travel back home with free luggage, helping them to save money which they can use to make the most out of their exchange and contribute to the local economy of their hosting communities.
"Accessible learning mobility allows young people from all corners of Europe and all walks of life to get to know each other, discover new realities, and develop their competences and civic engagement. Making it a possibility for everybody is the key for the future of Europe. We thank Ryanair for their contribution to this cause."
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