DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ryanair flew 15.7 million passengers in October, a record high for the month and up 14% on pre-COVID levels, Europe’s largest airline by passenger numbers said on Wednesday.

Similar to September, the jump in traffic meant Ryanair flew more passengers last month than in any of its busiest summer months before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. It flew a record 16.9 million passengers in August.

CEO Michael O’Leary told Reuters last month that bookings for the autumn mid-term and Christmas holidays were ahead of pre-COVID levels.

The average proportion of empty seats per flight in October remained steady month-on-month at 6% compared to 4% in October 2019.

Ryanair expects to fly 166.5 million passengers in the year to the end of March, significantly ahead of its previous record of 149 million.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Jason Neely)

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