Budget airline Ryanair has seen the number of passengers flown drop by seven per cent between November and December as travel restrictions were imposed across Europe amid the spread of the Omicron variant.
The Irish carrier said the number of passengers dropped to 9.5 million last month – the lowest since July and down from 10.2 million in November.
It ran 62,200 flights last month, with a load factor – a measure of how well an airline fills its planes – of 81 per cent, down from 86 per cent in November.
The group had warned over profits just before Christmas as it cut its passenger forecast for December and January due to Omicron restrictions.
The group had previously expected to fly between 10 and 11 million passengers in December, while it also slashed its guidance for January by 33 per cent as restrictions were imposed on British passengers flying to Germany and France and all EU passengers to Morocco.
It slashed its full-year results guidance to a net loss of between €250 million to €450 million from a previous net loss range of between €100 million to €200 million.
On a year-on-year basis, Ryanair saw passenger numbers rise from 1.9 million in December 2020, when there were strict restrictions to control last winter’s wave of the pandemic.