Ryanair CEO says bookings recovering strongly, calls for looser restrictions

LISBON, June 23 (Reuters) - Ryanair bookings are recovering very strongly, Group Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, adding he thought fully vaccinated passengers in Europe should not be subject to any travel restrictions.

“Bookings have recovered very strongly over the last eight weeks,” O’Leary said ahead of a news conference in Lisbon, with particularly high volumes of bookings to Portugal from Germany, Scandinavia, and the Benelux countries.

The company is on track to fly 80 to 100 million passengers by March 2022, O’Leary said, up from 27.5 million last year but still below pre-pandemic levels of 149 million.

The Irish CEO dubbed the UK and Ireland’s reluctance to open travel “political cowardice”, adding that he hoped the UK would join the EU’s digital certificate travel scheme. (Reporting by Catarina Demony, writing by Victoria Waldersee; editing by Jason Neely)