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EasyJet passenger numbers take off

EASYJET, the budget airline founded by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, carried 5.3 per cent more passengers last month than in the same period last year, in the latest piece of data to show budget air travel demand taking off.<br /><br />The orange-crested carrier carried 4.42m passengers in September, up from 4.19m in 2008, and said its load factor, which measures how full its planes are, rose 1.2 percentage points to 88.1 per cent.<br /><br />Earlier this week, rival Ryanair said it had carried 17 per cent more passengers for the month, year-on-year.<br /><br />But ailing flag carrier British Airways (BA) put out comparatively disappointing figures, showing 1.7 per cent fewer passengers flew with them than during September than in the same period in 2008.<br />