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Skywest passengers fall in September after slump

SKYWESTAIRLINES, the Australian budget carrier, said yesterday it had carried 8.55 per cent fewer passengers last month than it did in September 2008.<br /><br />The airline said 30,000 people flew in September, down from 33,000 in 2008, but its load factor &ndash; which measures how full its planes are &ndash; rose 1.4 per cent to 54.16, from 52.76 per cent the year before.<br /><br />Skywest&rsquo;s announcement comes a week after UK flag carrier British Airways (BA) said it carried 0.8 per cent fewer passengers in September compared with the same month a year ago.<br /><br />But UK-based budget airlines are winning in the downturn, as customers ditch full-service carriers for cheaper rivals. <br /><br />EasyJet said last week it carried 5.3 per cent more passengers in September year-on-year, while Ryanair said it had carried 17 per cent more passengers.