Ryanair is moving forward after coming under fire in an undercover expose screened on UK television in mid-February. Amid the flurry of negative publicity, it is worth remembering just how big the low-cost carrier has become. Last Friday marked Ryanair’s 70 millionth passenger since it began flying from London Stansted in 1989, and it expects to carry more than 40 million passengers this year. That puts it among the top 15 carriers in the world in terms of passengers carried.
And the numbers continue to boggle. Since starting operations in 1985, Ryanair will have carried 115 million passengers in the UK, 30 million passengers in Italy and 16 million passengers in Germany. It says it now operates 301 low-fare routes (88 to and from Stansted) across 22 European countries.
Fighting back against the documentary’s claims of “inadequate safety and security checks, dirty planes, exhausted cabin crew”, Ryanair says: “No other airline beats Ryanair’s low fares, punctuality or customer service and that is why millions of passengers choose us as their number 1 for travel abroad, making Ryanair the World’s Favourite Airline.”