Ryanair passenger growth levels hit six-month low

Ryanair’s market value has risen back to above €20bn, despite seeing the lowest level of passenger growth in six months in September.

Traffic figures, published by the airline yesterday, show that one million more people travelled across Europe with Ryanair in September than did in the same month last year — 10% year-on-year growth. This was despite the fallout from the airline’s decision last month to cancel 2,100 flights to the end of October over pilot rostering problems.

Ryanair carried 11.8m passengers last month, the smallest annualised monthly jump since last March when 900,000 passengers were added on a yearly basis.

September’s load factor, which measures how full the planes are, rose two percentage points to 97%, while rolling annual traffic to September increased 12% to 127.3m customers.

“These figures include the 2,100 flight cancellations announced for September and October,” said Ryanair’s chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs.

“We have now refunded/reaccommodated 98% of customers who were impacted in September and October. The remaining 2% of affected customers have yet to contact us.”

Ryanair’s share price was up by over 2.5% yesterday. The airline’s market value had declined by around €500m in the wake of the cancellation chaos.

Meanwhile, Ryanair pilots campaigning for unionisation have been offered financial backing from American Airlines Group’s cockpit-crew association.

The Allied Pilots Association has offered to support Ryanair crews in forming a union or joining an existing body such as the Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association, according to Daniel Carey, president of the US group.

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