EasyJet and Norwegian passenger numbers soared in October

Rebecca Smith
No turbulence to see here
No turbulence to see here (Source: Getty)

EasyJet said passenger numbers rose 6.9 per cent last month, but the load factor dropped, while Norwegian reported 16 per cent growth for the month.

The low-cost giant said passenger numbers rose 6.9 per cent to just over 6.84m, but the load factor was down from 93.3 per cent to 90.2 per cent.

On a rolling 12-month basis, passenger numbers were up 6.3 per cent to 73.58m, though load factor slid to 91.3 per cent from 91.7 per cent.

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Meanwhile Norwegian carried nearly 2.8m passengers in October, while the load factor inched up 0.6 percentage points to 88.4 per cent. Its long-haul routes proved a particular boost: passenger numbers were up 56 per cent, with a load factor of 95 per cent.

Norwegian chief executive Bjorn Kjos said: "We are very pleased to see that more customers choose to fly with Norwegian and that the positive development continues in all markets."

The airline operated 99.6 per cent of its scheduled flights for the month and 79.5 per cent departed on time.

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The low-cost airline is in the midst of a fleet renewal programme: so far this year Norwegian has taken delivery of 20 brand new aircraft including 16 Boeing 737-800s and four Boeing 797-9.

British Airways owner IAG unveiled figures showing the number of passengers it carried in October rose 3.9 per cent on last year, to 8.8m - bringing its total for 2016 up to 86.3m, up 6.5 per cent on last year.