Passenger numbers up for Ryanair, easyJet and Norwegian

Passenger numbers up for Ryanair, easyJet and Norwegian By Phil Davies

Ryanair carried 300,000 more passengers last month than February 2013, representing a 7% increase to give a total for the month of 4.5 million.Annual traffic to February 2014 rose by 3% to 81.9 million passengers, with the load factor for the month up by one percentage point to 78%.

The number of passengers flying with easyJet also increased, rising by 2.9% in February to more than 4.2 million.

The carrier saw a marginal rise in its load factor of 0.2 percentage points over the same month last year to 90.7%. Overall carryings in the 12 months to February rose by 3.5% to 61.6 million with a load factor up by 0.2 percentage points to 89.4%.

Norwegian too saw an increase, flying 22% more passengers at 1.5 million in February over the same month last year.

The airline’s load factor increased by a single percentage point to 79.3%, despite strong capacity growth.

Aer Lingus bucked the trend however for budget carriers in February, reporting overall passenger carryings down by 3% to 558,000 against 575,000 in February 2013

A drop in short-haul carryings led to a 3% decline in overall passengers flown in February. Numbers on short-haul routes dropped by 3.8% year on year to 512,000 while long-haul carryings rose by 7% to 46,000.

The overall load factor dipped by one percentage point to 67.3%. Subsidiary Aer Lingus Regional saw a 12.3% rise in carryings to 82,000 in the month.

A Ryanair spokesman cited the low-cost carrier’s move to create an easier-to-use website, customer service improvements, allocated seating and the introduction of the use of personal electronic devices on all flights as potential reasons for the carrier’s improved results.

“Further improvements will be rolled out over the coming months as Ryanair continues to lower prices and improve our industry leading customer service,” he said.

Meanwhile, Norwegian chief executive Bjørn Kjos said: “Our offer to customers has increased significantly with more routes and frequencies.

“The load factor increases, even with a strong capacity growth, are something we’re very satisfied with. At the same time, there’s strong competition in the market and many affordable tickets available, which benefits the customers.”

He added: “We are prepared to meet the competition by introducing even more brand new aircraft to the fleet, expanding the route network and adding new destinations to the route map.

“New aircraft with lower fuel burn is key to keeping costs down and continue to offer more low-fare tickets.”

Norwegian, which is planning transatlantic flights from Gatwick to the US this summer, took delivery of the first two of 15 Boeing 737-800s to be added to the fleet this year and plans to add four 787 Dreamliners to serve long haul routes.

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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