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Ryanair (RYAAY) Posts Strong October Traffic Statistics

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Ryanair Holdings’ (RYAAY - Free Report) October 2021 traffic surged more than 100% year over year to 11.3 million as air-travel demand continues to recover in the European Union. Load factor (percentage of seats filled with passengers) in the period was 84% compared with 73% in October 2020. The airline operated more than 71,500 flights last month.

Ryanair’s October traffic also shows a sequential improvement of 6.6%. October’s load factor is also an improvement from 81% in September.

Despite improving from the pandemic-driven lows, Ryanair’s traffic continues to be significantly below the pre-pandemic levels. The airline’s October 2021 traffic declined 18% from the comparable period in 2019.

Ryanair recently reported its second-quarter fiscal 2022 (ended Sep 30, 2021) financial numbers. The carrier’s earnings of $1.16 per share fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.80. Quarterly revenues of $2,104 million also fell shy of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,338.8 million. However, the top line increased significantly year over year with improvement in traffic, thanks to the rollout of the EU Digital Covid Certificates, which facilitate travel with the European Union during the pandemic. The easing of coronavirus-led travel restrictions also drove traffic.

Amid softness in travel demand from the pre-pandemic levels, U.S. airlines such as United Airlines (UAL - Free Report) , Southwest Airlines (LUV - Free Report) and Spirit Airlines (SAVE - Free Report) have incurred losses in the third quarter of 2021. Nevertheless, their third-quarter performances show significant improvement on a year-over-year basis, thanks to easing coronavirus-led restrictions and uptick in air-travel demand from the pandemic-led lows.