Ryanair missed its target in December following the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus which forced governments around the globe to reintroduce restrictions on international travel.
“The sudden emergence of the Omicron variant and the media hysteria it generated in December, forced many European governments to reimpose travel restrictions in the run-up to Christmas, which significantly weakened peak Christmas and New Year bookings and fares,” Ryanair said.
While the airline’s goal was to reach 11 million passengers in December, it reached just 9.5 million.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has said that while the airline had seen a “strong bounce back” in bookings post-Christmas, the outlook remains largely uncertain and, as such, will continue to offer lower prices to attract an increase in customer numbers.
“While recent bookings have improved, following the easing of travel restrictions, the booking curve remains very late and close-in, so Q4 traffic requires significant price stimulation at lower prices,” O’Leary said.