Ryanair and Wizz Air are upbeat, despite Omicron Turbulence. They reveal that passengers were held up in November

  • Ryanair transported 10.2million passengers to November last year, as compared with 2million the previous year
  • Last month, passenger numbers at Wizz Air’s low-cost rival airline saw a rise in passengers
  • The uncertainty around Omicron variant has put the airline sector in flux. 

Ryanair has revealed it carried 10.2million passengers in November, as it published its latest numbers amid turbulence from travel restrictions due to the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

It said that it had operated 62.300 flights in the last month. 

The group was able to transport 11.3 million passengers in October (which included half-term holidays), but only 2million people were on board last November. 

The company saw its shares rebound on Wednesday, in line with other travel stocks, climbing around 4.7 per cent to €14.91. Today, the share price stands at €14.96.

Passenger numbers: Ryanair carried 10.2m passengers in November, as travel restrictions ramped up in certain parts of the world

Passenger numbers: Ryanair carried 10.2m passengers in November, as travel restrictions ramped up in certain parts of the world

Last month saw passenger numbers increase at Wizz Air, a low-cost rival airline. This morning, the airline revealed that it had carried more than 2 million passengers last month. That’s a 35% increase over last year. 

The company’s load factor also rose by 7.9 percentage points to 76.1 per cent, up from 68.2 per cent in November last year.

Speaking at London’s World Aviation Festival, Wizz Air’s president Robert Carey called the ongoing uncertainty ‘a bit of a roller-coaster.’

Wizz Air is positive despite the Omicron variant’s threat to impede all of the industry’s progress so far. It has its sights on growing demand next summer. 

According to the airline’s ethical credentials, today they stated: “Wizz Air continually operates amongst amongst the highest CO2 emissions/passenger/km amongst any competitor airlines with 66.2g per passenger/km during the rolling twelve months to 30 Nov 2021. 

Data: Low-cost airline Wizz Air continued to see passenger numbers grow last month

Data: Passenger numbers for low-cost airline Wizz Air grew last month

“Emissions in grams per passenger/km for November were 8.4% lower than the same month last year. This is due to an increase in load factors.

Shares in FTSE 250-listed Wizz Air have risen sharply today and are currently up 3.05 per cent or 129.00p to 4,352.00p. The group’s share prices were 4,576.00p a year ago.

Recent discoveries of Covid-19 by South African health officials have caused travel stocks to be affected. Cases were later identified at various places around the globe.

Some authorities put restrictions on flights, and have reintroduced pre-travel testing as a way to limit the spread. Many travel stocks rose in the wake of the decrease in fears over this new variant. In some areas.

Lee Wild is the head of equity strategies at Interactive Investor. He stated: “The vulnerability of airlines for any further lockdowns and travel restrictions was exposed this week when Omicron variant grounded South Africa flights. 

‘The UK government’s decision to restrict access to the UK from the region was swiftly followed by others. It clearly affected long-haul larger carriers such as British Airways. Last month, shares in International Consolidated Airlines fell by one year.

“However the prospects for recovery after the dust settles continue to draw buyers with a longer-term outlook. It’s the same with easyJet, another popular stock that could do well when we get further clarity on travel access abroad, especially in Europe where some countries are being hit hard with fresh Covid outbreaks.’

Russ Mould is AJ Bell’s investment director. He said that the market would be desperate for information about how infectious Omicron may be, and whether or not it can escape current vaccines.