The number of passengers carried by Irish budget airline Ryanair in June showed a sign of improvement despite a sharp drop year-on-year, according to the figures released by the airline on Thursday.
In June, Ryanair carried a total of 400,000 passengers, down 97 percent compared with the 14.2 million passengers it handled in the same month of last year, said the largest budget airline in Europe in a statement.
The sharp decrease in Ryanair’s June passenger numbers showed the huge impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the airline, but the falling rate in the month had obviously slowed down when compared with the previous months.
In May, Ryanair reported a free fall of 99.5 percent in its passenger numbers on top of a 99.6-percent plunge in April when the airline was hit hardest by the pandemic.
Industry watchers believe that a dramatic improvement in Ryanair’s passenger numbers could be expected as the airline resumed 40 percent of its flight service on Wednesday.
However, Ryanair’s top management cautioned that it could take two to three years for the airline’s passenger numbers to return to normal levels.
Earlier in the day, Ryanair said in a statement that it had reached a four-year agreement with a trade union which represents the interests of the pilots employed by Ryanair in Britain.
Under the agreement, the British pilots of Ryanair have agreed to a 20-percent pay cut proposed by the airline in order to avoid redundancy.
Ryanair has planned to lay off 3,000 employees to deal with the crisis.
Earlier last month, the airline announced that over 250 people working at its three bases in Britain, Spain and Poland have been laid off.
Headquartered in Ireland, Ryanair employs an estimated 19,000 people working in nearly 80 bases across Europe and in parts of North Africa.
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