Rise in traffic gives Christmas cheer to EasyJet

 
Marion Dakers
EASYJET carried 3.6 per cent more passengers than it did a year ago in 2013, helping narrow the gap between the budget carrier and its larger rival Ryanair. The orange-liveried airline booked in 61.3m customers in 2013, it said yesterday.

Traffic in December was up 3.5 per cent at 4.5m, giving FTSE 100-listed EasyJet a strong end to the year despite Christmas Eve disruption at Gatwick, where it is the biggest airline.

Ryanair, Europe’s biggest airline by passenger numbers, said last week its annual traffic rose two per cent to 81.4m.

Meanwhile IAG, the parent company of British Airways, said it carried 67.2m passengers last year, up 2.1 per cent excluding the effects of takeovers.

British Airways traffic was up 3.9 per cent on a revenue passenger kilometre measure, while its struggling Spanish sibling Iberia saw traffic fall 16.5 per cent.

IAG said European travel was up 8.5 per cent, not including its recent acquisition Vueling.

Flights to Africa and Asia proved popular, though traffic to Latin America and the Caribbean was down 11.8 per cent.