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Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland
March Madness

No wonder Michael O'Leary is smiling...

The airline is still managing big passenger growth figures.

Updated at 12.30pm

RYANAIR’S MARCH PASSENGER numbers were up over one-quarter on last year’s total pushing the budget airline’s yearly figure over 90 million for the first time.

The budget carrier this morning said its customer traffic last month hit 6.67 million – up from 5.2 million for the same month in 2014.

There was a big increase in the airline’s load factor – the share of all seats it managed to fill – from 80% to 90% over the same period.

Davy analyst Stephen Furlong said the figures were above recent estimates and “an exceptional performance by any standard”.

It is apparent that Easter falling in early April has helped volumes and presumably yields in the quarter,” he said in a briefing note.

Ryanair

The airline has predicted it will top 100 million passengers this year after rewriting some of its plans and policies, including lower rates on some charges like its much-criticised airport check-in fee.

Late last month the airline was also involved in a bizarre about-face after apparently confirming plans to launch transatlantic flights – only to deny the move a few days later.

First posted at 9.30am.

READ: Ryanair planes clip wing and tail at Dublin Airport >

READ: You probably don’t want to fly with any of the airlines on this ‘blacklist’ >

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