Ryanair PLC (LON:RYA) and Wizz Air Holdings Plc (LON:WIZZ) flew only a fifth of flights during November compared to a yar ago as travel was impacted by lockdowns across Europe and rising COVID-19 infections.
Ryanair saw the number of passengers plummet 82% to 2mln, bringing the total year to date to 61.4mln or down 60%.
READ: Ryanair shares are up with events after vaccine news, says UBS
Similarly, Wizz Air’s passenger numbers plunged 84.7% to 456,487, while seats available were 79% lower at 669,139.
The load factor was 68.2% compared to 92.8% seen last year.
The budget carrier continued to invest in growing its network, and last month it announced three new domestic routes in Norway, bringing the total number of domestic routes in the country to 15.
Last month, Ryanair flagged passenger confidence had been affected by recent quarantine and flight restrictions in central Europe.
It added today that the second half of the year will continue to be ‘hugely challenging’, so it expects higher losses than the after-tax deficit of EUR197mln posted in the six months to September.
Analysts at Peel Hunt expect Ryanair to fly 2.9mln passengers in December, which they “believe is reasonable given the likely uptick in seasonal traffic”.
Meanwhile, Wizz Air is not expected to see passenger volumes improve before the fourth quarter of next year, when the broker assumes a 50% drop year-on-year.
Shares in Ryanair dipped 1% to EUR15.6 while Wizz Air remained flat at 4,562p on Wednesday morning.
–Adds analyst comment, shares–