EasyJet sees its passenger numbers rise

THE number of passengers carried by budget airline easyJet in February was 12.3 per cent higher than a year earlier, though the load factor was lower.

EasyJet carried 3.39m passengers in February 2009, compared with 3.02m who used the airline in February 2008, according to figures released by the airine yesterday.

However the load factor – a measure of passengers against available seats – dipped to 85.3 per cent from 87 per cent the year before.

In the 12 months to the end of February 2009 the total number of passengers carried by easyJet was 46.75m, up 5.2 per cent from 44.44m in the 12 months to the end of February 2008.

Over the same period the load factor was 86.1 per cent compared with 85.1 per cent a year earlier.

Meanwhile, Ryanair said that its February 2010 passenger traffic rose six per cent to £4.37m from £4.13m in the prior year.

However, load factor for the month fell three points to 75 per cent from last year’s 78 per cent.

At British Airways traffic for February increased 1.1 per cent to 7.79bn from 7.71bn, while passenger load factor was up 2.2 percentage points at 74.2 per cent.