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Ryanair breaks monthly passenger record again despite bank holiday chaos

Ryanair has also announced 230 new routes (PA) (PA Wire)
Ryanair has also announced 230 new routes (PA) (PA Wire)

Ryanair said 63,000 of its passengers were hit by the “still unexplained” technical error that led to chaos over the bank holiday weekend, but  the airline still managed to break its monthly record for passengers again in August.

The low-cost carrier flew 18.9 million passengers, up from July’s record of 18.7 million and 11% more than in August 2022. Its flights were 96% full, the same load factor as in August of 2022.

But 350 of its flights were cancelled, due to the “computer ‘failure’ which has still not been explained”.

The temporary collapse of the UK’s air traffic control system led the the canbcellation of 1,110 flights and many more delays on one of the busiest weekends of the year for UK air travel, with thousands of passengers stranded outside of the UK.

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Bosses of National Air Traffic Services are working on an urgent report to determine what exactly went wrong, as aviation bosses slammed the failure as an “embarrassment”.

Meanwhile, rival low-cost airline Wizz Air carried 6.1 million passengers, up 23.9% from last year, with new flights including Luton to Cairo.

Travel businesses have gone from strength to strength this year, even as other companies that depend on discretionary spending struggle with the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.

Ryanair has carried 177.4 million passengers over the last 12 months, up 20% from last year. Wizz has carried 62.6 million, a 33% rise.

Ryanair shares are up 0.6% to €16.24 in Dublin today. Wizz shares are up 2.3% to 2,251p.

Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor, said: “Shares in Ryanair have rallied sharply so far this year, driven by robust post-covid demand for summer holiday travel and a jump in average fares. While the low-cost carriers have enjoyed a very strong all-important summer season, the winter could be more challenging with elevated inflation and rising interest rates likely to weigh on consumers’ desire to spend on travel.”