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Niall Carson/PA Wire
Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus reports surge in passenger numbers

The flag-carrying airline says passenger bookings grew by 4.1 per cent in August, with a short-haul surge covering Irene disruption.

AER LINGUS HAS reported a significant surge in passenger numbers for the month of August, in what it said was a continuation of a good run of form.

While long-haul capacity had been reduced by the impact of Hurricane Irene, which forced the cancellation of many long-haul flights to eastern North America, a surge in short-haul traffic more than made up for the shortfall.
1.03 million passengers travelled with the airline in August 2011, an increase of 1.8 per cent, with short-haul passengers making up almost nine-tenths of this number at 935,000.

That number was up by 2.4 per cent on the 913,000 who travelled on the same month in 2010, while long-haul numbers were down 4 per cent to 95,000.

Overall, passenger bookings (including bookings on its regional services) were up by 4.1 per cent, which the airline commented was a continuation of a positive trend already recorded in the second quarter.

The Aer Lingus regional traffic service reported remarkable growth, with passenger numbers standing at 82,000 for August – up from 56,000 in the same month last year.

516,000 passengers have travelled on Aer Lingus regional services to date this year – more than double the 225,000 who had travelled in the first eight months of 2010.

Short haul passenger load factor – representing the number of seats occupied on each flight – increased by 0.8 per cent to 84.6, despite capacity having also increased in the period.

Long-haul passenger loads decreased by just 0.2 per cent to 89.7, despite the airline having lost 4 per cent of its capacity due to the weather conditions in North America.

Read: Aer Lingus defends internship position for ‘Air Safety Assistant’ >

More: Aer Lingus losses grow, but outlook is brighter >

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