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Ryanair creeps closer to 80m annual passengers after positive May

The budget airline says it carried 5 per cent more passengers in May 2013 than in 2012, leading to an annual increase.

Michael O'Leary has good reason to look smug.
Michael O'Leary has good reason to look smug.
Image: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

RYANAIR HAS INCHED closer to a major landmark in passenger numbers after recording a 5 per cent increase in the number of people taking flights in May.

The no-frills airline carried 7.86 million passengers last month, an increase of 350,000 on the equivalent period in 2012.

The 5 per cent monthly increase means the airline’s total passenger numbers in the last 12 months have grown by 4 per cent – standing at 79.8 million passengers.

The airline now stands poised to break the 80 million passengers barrier for the first time, and may past that milestone when its figures for June are reported.

Last June the airline carried 4,397,627 passengers – a number which will need to increase by 5.2 per cent next month, to 4,626,463, if the barrier is to be breached.

Ryanair also reported a minor increase in its load factor, a way of measuring the quantity of seats filled on each flight.

Last month 82 per cent of all seats on Ryanair flights were occupied, matching the rolling 12-month average since the start of last year.

The annual passenger figure of 79.8 million consolidates Ryanair’s position as the largest airline in Europe by passenger numbers, and the sixth-busiest in the world.

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Air France-KLM carried 77.1 million passengers in 2012, ahead of Lufthansa at 74.7 million.

Delta Air Lines, the world’s most popular airline, carried 164.6 million passengers last year.

Read: Ryanair may be forced to reduce its stake in rival Aer Lingus

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Gavan Reilly

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