Ryanair and Wizz Air February performance affected by Israel-Gaza conflict

Ryanair’s February passenger carryings topped 11 million in February despite having 800 flights cancelled due to Israel-Gaza conflict.

Europe’s largest airline operated more than 63,000 flights last month and saw passenger numbers rise by five per cent year-on-year to 11.1 million.

The monthly total gave Ryanair an annual rolling total of 182.6 million passengers, up 9% from the 167.2 million achieved in the same period a year earlier.

The passenger load factor in February was pegged at 92%, the same level as the equivalent month in 2023. 

Ryanair restarted flights to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International airport from parts of Europe on February 1 after a lengthy suspension due to the conflict in Gaza.

But flights were halted again last Tuesday and will remain suspended until the airport reopens a dedicated terminal for low cost flights.

Rival budget carrier Wizz Air saw February carryings rise by 15.8% to almost 4.4 million passengers.

But the Hungary-based airline admitted its load factor “continued to be impacted by reallocated Israel capacity and more flown capacity than anticipated, as some of the aircraft groundings related to the mandatory [Pratt & Whitney] GTF engine inspections occurred later than expected.”

Wizz Air’s load factor fell to 90% from 93.3% in February 2023.

The airline’s rolling total passenger carryings were up by almost a quarter to 61.5 million.

Wizz Air was due to resume routes to Tel Aviv from Luton airport and five other points in Europe on Friday (March 1).

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