Budget airlines fly a higher number of August passengers

A HIGHER number of travellers are turning to budget airlines easyJet and Ryanair according to August passenger figures published by the two carriers yesterday.

The figures indicate a general move by air passengers towards low cost airlines, as each posted an increase in passenger numbers last month.

EasyJet said yesterday that it carried 5.2m passengers in August, marking an 8.4 per cent increase in customer traffic from the same period last year when it flew 4.8m people.

The airline, founded by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easyGroup in 1995, said it flew 48.4m passengers during the 12 months ended August.

The budget airline reported that 92.3 per cent of available seats on its planes were filled last month.

Meanwhile, rivals Ryanair carried 12 per cent more passengers during August after 7.68m customers turned to the budget airline.

Despite this, Ryanair filled a smaller portion of its planes after 89 per cent of available seats on its aircraft were taken.

The Dublin based airline has flown 70.9m people during the 12 months to August.

However, this figure includes the 1.45m passengers who were either displaced or saw flights cancelled when European regulators closed airspace after an explosion of a volcano in Iceland.

The numbers show an exodus from larger airlines, including British Airways, which reported August passenger traffic was down after it flew 3.154m customers last month.