Ryanair is currently seeing a rebound of pent-up demand for August and September and expects the trend to continue for the rest of the year.
However, current fares continue to be low, and passengers are booking at the last minute, the airline says.
Ryanair provided the update as it reported a first-quarter loss of €273m (£234m), compared a loss of €185m the previous year.
Traffic for the three months ended 30 June rebounded from 0.5m to 8.1m as capacity recovered in May and June.
But CEO Michael O’Leary said COVID-19 had ‘continued to wreak havoc on our business during Q1 with most Easter flights cancelled and a slower than expected easing of EU Government travel restrictions into May and June’.
“Our Group has seen Q2 bookings recover strongly (albeit at low fares),” he said.
He added: “Significant uncertainty around travel green lists (particularly in the UK) and extreme Govt. caution in Ireland meant that Q1 bookings were close-in and at low fares. We kept aircraft and crews current throughout the quarter and recruited additional cabin crew to enable us recover quickly in Q2 as Covid restrictions ease. The 1 July rollout of EU Digital Covid Certificates (DCC) and the scrapping of quarantine for vaccinated arrivals to the UK from mid-July has seen a surge in bookings over recent weeks.
“Pricing remains below pre-COVID-19 levels and there will continue to be great value for Ryanair guests travelling this summer as we focus on recovering traffic, jobs and tourism across our European network.”
He told investors the airline expects intra-European capacity to be lower for the foreseeable future, which will create growth opportunities for Ryanair.
Looking ahead, Mr O’Leary said it was impossible to provide meaningful guidance for the full year, but said he expects ‘the likely outcome for FY22 is somewhere between a small loss and breakeven’.
“This is dependent on the continued rollout of vaccines this summer, and no adverse COVID variant developments,” Mr O’Leary added.