The airline yesterday reported a 10% year-on-year rise in February customer numbers to 8.2m people. Ryanair had expected to carry around 119m people over the year to the end of this month.
However, that target was passed in February and the airline now expects to report a near 13% annualised rise to “just about hit 120m”.
Chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said the airline’s lower fares and its revised customer service programme had lead to “slightly higher than expected load factors” in the fourth quarter.
However, February’s passenger growth was down on the 17.3% rise seen in January and Goodbody Stockbrokers had forecast full-year passenger growth of 120.2m.
“Ryanair has to achieve passenger growth of 12.5% — 9.6m passengers — in March to meet our forecasts, which is against a tougher comparison due to Easter falling in April this year,” said Goodbody’s Mark Simpson.
Ryanair last month reported an 8% drop in third quarter profits but kept its full-year guidance of €1.3bn-€1.35bn.