Ryanair passenger numbers reach new highs

 
Nassos Stylianou
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Ryanair hits record highs for June 2014 (Source: Getty)

Passenger numbers for Europe's biggest low-cost carriers continued to soar in June as Ryanair announced record figures today.

Ryanair reported that June traffic grew five per cent to 8.3m travellers, compared to 7.9m last year. With that rise, the budget airline has flown a record 82.7m customers in the year to June 2014, up three per cent. The company's load factor, the measure of how full its planes were rose four percentage points to 88 per cent from June 2013.

The airline, which was voted as the worst 100 big brands in the UK market in terms of customer relations by readers of consumer magazine Which?, attributed the rise in numbers to the efforts it had been making to improve its image.

"Ryanair traffic grew by 400,000 to 8.3m customers in June thanks to our lower fares and our improving customer experience, including our great new website, allocated seating, a free second small carry-on bag and personal electronic device use on all flights," the company said in a statement.

Ryanair has had a tough time of late, seeing a decline in profit growth for the first time in five years in May, while last month it announced finance chief Howard Millar would leave the airline after 23 years, the second deputy chief executive to quit the low-cost carrier in a year.

Easyjet's figures were even more impressive, revealing a 10 per cent jump in passenger numbers on the same month last year. That takes the number of passengers flown by Stelios Hadjioannou's no-frills airline this year to 63.4m, a leap of 5.4 per cent.

The number of passengers as a proportion of the number of available seats was up as well to 92 per cent from just below 90 per cent in June 2013.

Easyjet's share price this morning has climbed 2.4 per cent in early trading, while Ryanair's stock price remained unchanged.

European airline stocks had fallen sharply at the end of last month as growing violence in Iraq signalled the end of a period of what analysts called an unprecedented period of low volatility in oil prices.

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