Ryanair Confident Of Winter Plans

“We’re cautiously optimistic for the winter, but I think it’s going to be a very tough time for some of our competitors,” Ryanair's Jason McGuinness tells Routes.

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Ryanair's Jason McGuinness at Routes World 2022.

Ryanair expects to grow winter 2022/23 capacity by 8% compared with pre-pandemic levels despite concern over rising inflation and how it will affect spending on air travel in Europe.

Jason McGuinness, Ryanair's director of commercial, said the Irish ULCC remains “cautiously optimistic” for the season, predicting that the airline will fare better than some of its competitors. He added the carrier intends to operate its largest-ever winter schedule, with 200 new routes.

“I think we’re one of the only airlines adding incremental capacity this winter,” he told Routes. “We are cautious because of the cost-of-living crisis and the illegal invasion of Ukraine, but customers are still flocking to Ryanair.”

Ryanair is nearing the end of its largest-ever summer schedule, offering 117 million seats. McGuinness said the airline has achieved load factors of more than 90% since April, reaching 96% in July and August.

“We’re cautiously optimistic for the winter, but I think it’s going to be a very tough time for some of our competitors,” McGuinness said.

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Ryanair has taken delivery of 73 Boeing 737-8200s this year and will add a further 20 during the winter season, which will be deployed across summer 2023. The group has more than 200 outstanding deliveries for the aircraft type.

McGuinness said that Ryanair expects to carry 166 million passengers this year and has a target of 225 million passengers a year by 2025, explaining that growth would come in the 40 or so countries in which Ryanair already flies to.

“As we look beyond the crisis that has affected our industry for the last two years, I can say with absolute certainty that the group has emerged with a much lower cost base and an extraordinarily strong balance sheet,” he added.

In its most recent financial results, Ryanair reported a net profit of €170 million ($166.8 million) in the three months to June 30, compared with a loss of €273 million for the same period a year earlier. Like-for-like quarterly revenues increased by more than 600% to €2.6 billion.