The airline took on board 16.9 million passengers in August, which is a fourth consecutive monthly record and a record in Europe, the Irish low-cost airline said on Friday. At the same time, his boss Michael O’Leary said he was worried about the consequences of a potential recession in Europe. He also threatened once again to restrict his activities in Belgium, claiming to “review them seriously”. It particularly targets those in Zaventem.
Ryanair therefore transported nearly 17 million people last month, an increase of 52% compared to August 2021. This performance constitutes a new historic record, the fourth in a row, for the Irish company, whose peak was rising, before that, to the 14.9 million people transported in August 2019.
“We should arrive at a billion euros in profits for this year”, rejoiced the CEO of the group, Michael O’Leary, who plans to increase capacity for the winter period.
These excellent results did not, however, prevent him from fearing the impact of a possible economic recession in Europe on air transport during the winter season. High inflation could also cause problems, as people would then fly less frequently in order to save money, he worried.
“Withdraw planes in Charleroi”
The CEO also threatened Belgium, where he sees no growth for the next 12 months. Interviewed from Dublin by L’Echo, La Libre Belgique and Le Vif, he said he was reviewing the activities there.
“Zaventem airport is one of these bases that we are examining very closely. I can’t guarantee you that we won’t close it this winter. We are also thinking of withdrawing planes from Charleroi”, he warns in the columns of La Libre Belgique, adding that he should announce the closure of several European bases within two weeks.
For the winter aeronautical season, the low-cost company has two planes based in Zaventem and about fifteen stationed in Charleroi.
The CEO was very critical of Belgium’s new aviation tax, introduced last April and ranging from 2 to 10 euros, calling it “m…”. He denounced the Belgian tax exemption for transfer passengers.
Michael O’Leary also attacked Brussels Airport, which recently increased its prices. “Zaventem is certainly one of the airports where our presence is seriously questioned,” he told Le Vif.