Airlines’ load factor results at odds

Aer Lingus and Ryanair have published their passengers figures for October which show that while the Aer Lingus load factor increased, Ryanair’s slipped.

However, when the flights of Aer Lingus Regional, which was previously know as Aer Arann, are stripped out of the Aer Lingus figures, the load factor is actually down 1.6%.

The load factor is the percentage of seats filled per plane.

The total number of passengers carried by Aer Lingus, and including Aer Lingus Regional operations, increased by 0.9% to 962,000 in October compared to the same period last year.

However, figures from Ryanair show that the “low-cost” airline carried seven times as many passengers.

October was the seventh month in succession that Ryanair has carried more than 7m passengers. The airline remains the only carrier in Europe to carry over 7m passengers in one month.

Ryanair also carried a record number of passengers for the 12 months to October, with 79m customers boarding the airline’s planes.

Despite the positive figures Ryanair’s load factor slipped to 82%, down 2%.

The figures came on the back of the airline’s results for the third quarter, which saw it report an after-tax profit of €596m for the six months to the end of September — 10% higher than the €544m generated in the same period last year.

Ryanair refused to comment on speculation that its takeover bid for Aer Lingus was flying into an EU head wind.

A Reuters report cited an unnamed EU source as saying the antitrust regulator plans to object to Ryanair’s proposed take-over of Aer Lingus because it has not offered sufficient concessions.

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