Ryanair passenger numbers hit fresh all-time high in July

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FILE PHOTO: Ryanair aircraft Boeing 737-8AS takes off from Riga International Airport

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ryanair flew its highest-ever number of passengers in a month in July, while the average proportion of empty seats per flight fell back to pre-COVID levels of 4%, the low-cost airline said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Irish airline, which made a point of keeping its pilots and crew up-to-date with their flying hours during the pandemic, has established itself during the recovery as Europe's largest airline by passenger numbers, pulling ahead of the Lufthansa Group.

It flew 16.8 million passengers in July, beating the record it hit a month earlier of 15.9 million, despite small-scale strike action by cabin crew in several markets. That was 14% ahead of the 14.8 million passengers it flew in July 2019, before the COVID pandemic.

(Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Mark Potter)

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