Ryanair capacity in Q2 2022 exceeds 2019 levels

Best-performing European low-cost carrier, says OAG
/ New Delhi
Ryanair capacity in Q2 2022 exceeds 2019 levels

OAG says that in August 2022, Ryanair is operating 18.9 pc more seats than it did in August 2019

European low-cost carrier Ryanair displays strong growth in second quarter of 2022, emerging as the world’s fifth largest airline in terms of capacity, says analysis by aviation data analyst firm OAG.
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Analysing the performance of various European airlines in the year, aviation data analyst firm OAG says that on the back of very strong growth, Ryanair has emerged as the fifth largest airline in the world in the second quarter of 2022 in terms of total capacity. It adds that Ryanair has now returned to profitability and is by far the most successful of the three large European low-cost airlines.

Using its data for April to June 2022, OAG compares the performance of Ryanair with easyJet and Wizz Air on key parametres to analyse the reasons behind its success. It says that with 16 pc of the total capacity of all Western European airlines, Ryanair was now the largest European airline and the fifth largest in the world, behind only the big four airlines in the United States. EasyJet and Wizz Air together account for 12 pc of European airline, meaning the three low-cost airlines account for almost a third of all European capacity.

OAG says the performance of all the three budget airlines has come despite challenges such as fuel prices, labour shortages and rising operating costs, which have hampered other airlines in a big way, but Ryanair has emerged fairly unscathed from the ongoing crisis.

OAG says that in August 2022, Ryanair is operating 18.9 pc more seats than it did in August 2019, in stark contrast to the European average airline performance where the capacity is 12.3 pc lower. In August, Ryanair’s rival Wizz Air has grown even faster with its capacity 26 pc over the 2019 levels. This has allowed the airline to jump to the 9th in the list of largest European carriers, up from 18th spot in 2019.

On the other hand, though easyJet remains the second largest European carrier and eight largest in the world, it lags way behind as its capacity is still 11.5 pc lower than in 2019. OAG says that unlike its other two rivals, the airline has been very cautious in its approach towards adding capacity, ahead of passenger numbers rising correspondingly.

OAG says that Wizz Air has added the most capacity as a percentage of its earlier numbers and the passenger numbers have grown correspondingly, while easyJet has seen fewer passengers than 2019 as it operated lesser capacity than in 2019.

In terms of cancellations, Wizz Air saw a rise to 2.7 pc in June, up dramatically from April and May when it was 0.4 pc. EasyJet’s flight cancellation rates were even higher, rising to 4.5 pc in June, and they had been relatively high in both April and May too, at 2 pc and higher. Ryanair, in contrast, seems to have kept the cancellation rate at a modest level throughout the second quarter, which will have kept passengers happy.

OAG says that a sign of Ryanair’s strength is the fact that of the three airlines it was the only one to report a profit for April-June 2022. Ryanair’s net profit was EUR 170 million, and much better than the EUR 273 m net loss reported for the same quarter in 2021. EasyJet reported a loss of  GBP 114 million, almost a third of GBP 318 million loss reported the year before. Wizz Air, however, increased the size of its loss from EUR 108.6 million in 2021 to EUR 284.5 million for the same quarter this year. OAG says that while some of this may be down to different fuel hedging strategies, but of the three low-cost airlines, Ryanair appears to have the best handle on the balance between costs and revenues, how to grow and what customers will pay for.

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