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packed planes

Low fares mean Ryanair jets are getting really full

Record 9.4 million punters used the low-cost carrier last month.

RYANAIR’S PLANES ARE more packed than ever before as record numbers of passengers use the low-cost carrier.

The Irish budget airline today released official traffic figures for August, when a record 9.4 million punters flew in its jets – four per cent higher than in the same month last year.

The carrier reported a “load factor”, or the proportions of bums to seats, of 93 per cent, up from 89 per cent last August.

Ryanair Ryanair's latest passenger figures Ryanair Ryanair

Ryanair chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said the company’s low fares and “improving customer experience” had been among the factors contributing to the growth.

“The launch of our new family and business products have been extremely successful and have contributed significantly to these highest-ever load factors in Ryanair’s history,” he said.

Ryanair 2 WillMcHoebag / Twitter WillMcHoebag / Twitter / Twitter

That’s lots more passengers than Aer Lingus, by the way

In a jab at its more upmarket rival, Ryanair pointed out its monthly passenger figures for August were almost the same as the Aer Lingus’s 9.6 million fares for all 2013.

Earlier this year, the low-cost carrier’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, flagged going head-to-head against the national airline on the long-haul route to the US with fares to New York and Boston starting from €10.

Ryanair press conference. Ryanair CEO Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Aer Lingus’s planes were only 68 per cent full on short-haul flights last year, although the figure for long-haul flights was 82 per cent.

Lingus goes to Leeds

In a recent announcement, Aer Lingus Regional said from October 23 it would be running a regular service from Dublin to Bradford Airport in Leeds.

Operator Stobart Air will fly 13 planes a week between the destinations in a partnership with Aer Lingus.

Stobart’s managing director Julian Carr said the service would help UK-based passengers connect with long-haul flights to the US via Dublin.

READ: Ryanair has taken the wraps off its business class ‘goodies’ (but there’s no little blue curtain)

READ: Soaring profits for Ryanair – but it’s not getting carried away with excitement

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