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During the month of October, Ryanair had to cancel 870 flights due to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. This resulted in a decrease in passenger numbers, according to recent statistics released by the low-cost airline.
According to City AM, the number of passengers carried by the company in the month was 17.1 million, which is a 9% increase compared to the same month in 2022. However, it is slightly lower than the 17.3 million passengers carried in September 2023.
Several airlines halted their flights to Tel Aviv after an attack by Hamas militants on Israel on October 7th and the subsequent increase in the ongoing conflict. Ryanair has suspended its routes until at least November 6th.
Wizz Air has suspended their flights until 15 November, while British Airways plans to resume flights on 14 November and easyJet has postponed flights until 30 November.
In October, Wizz Air, a budget airline competitor, experienced a 19% increase in growth compared to the same time last year. However, there was a slight decrease in customers from September, with 5.4 million flying compared to 5.5 million in the previous month. The airline did not disclose any information on cancellations or disruptions in their market update.
The Independent has reached out to Ryanair for a statement. The decrease comes after the airline saw a surge in passengers during the summer, driven by a backlog of people wanting to travel after years of disruptions due to Covid-19 limitations.
The announcement follows shortly after Ryanair was instructed to compensate package holiday providers with over £2m for flight cancellations due to Covid.
In a lengthy legal dispute, On The Beach emerged victorious over the airline in the High Court. The ruling stated that Ryanair is responsible for reimbursing package holiday companies for refunds issued during the pandemic.
On Tuesday, the ruling determined that Ryanair had profited from “unfair enrichment.”
The judge determined that compensation is equivalent to the amount refunded for flights in cases where Ryanair cancels or significantly alters flights included in package vacations.