Ryanair remains 'optimistic' as it carries 10.2m passengers in November

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Ryanair Remains 'Optimistic' As It Carries 10.2M Passengers In November Ryanair Remains 'Optimistic' As It Carries 10.2M Passengers In November
Ryanair plane, © PA Wire/PA Images
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Airline operator Ryanair carried a total of 10.2 million passengers in November, with the company remaining "optimistic" amid the emergency of the new Omicron variant.

The company's 10.2 million passengers in November compares with its 11.3 million passengers in October this year, and 10.6 million in September.

Ryanair's load factor, which is a measure of how full the planes were, was 86 per cent for November. This figure is up from the 84 per cent reported in October and 81 per cent in September

In total, the company operated over 62,300 flights in November.

Ryanair DAC CEO Eddie Wilson said on Thursday the airline was still optimistic about summer demand despite the emergence of the coronavirus Omicron variant.

Airline shares plunged on Friday after news of the Omicron variant broke. Ryanair had already warned that European airlines were in for a fraught end to the year as infection rates on the continent surged.

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Wilson told an aviation conference in London that although Christmas was going to be "challenging", pent-up demand was evident in bookings for the summer.

New guidelines

On Tuesday, company CEO Michael O'Leary hit out at the Irish Governments latest guidelines for international travel.

Speaking about the latest measures, Mr O'Leary criticised what he described as the latest "Nphet/Government gobbledygook".

From Friday, people arriving in Ireland from overseas who have been vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 will be required also to have a certified negative test.

Those travelling with an antigen test result will need to have obtained it within 48 hours of departure, and it will have to be professionally administered. No self-administered tests will be accepted, under rules agreed by Cabinet on Tuesday morning.

Furthermore, air and sea carriers will be required to carry out pre-boarding checks for compliance at all ports and airports.

Impact on business

There have been concerns raised about how the latest guidelines and the new Omicron variant will impact airline business.

On Thursday, Aer Lingus announced it would be extending its "book with confidence" policy until January 31st.

Under the policy, customers can change their travel dates free of charge up to two hours before they travel and as many times as they wish.

According to the airline, the policy is to help customers "navigate through the changing travel restrictions".

“Our 'book with confidence policy' is one of the most compelling reassurance offers in the market," said senior vice president of global sales for Aer Lingus, Billy Byrne.

"The update to our policy will provide even more last-minute flexibility and gives our customers additional confidence, knowing they won’t lose money if their travel plans change.”

The current international travel guidelines for Ireland have been approved by Cabinet for a minimum of two weeks and will be reviewed and removed as soon as possible.

-Additional reporting by Reuters

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