Belfast Telegraph

Easyjet the latest airline to post buoyant figures

Easyjet became the second budget airline to post buoyant passenger figures this week, as they continue to benefit from the pain suffered by rival British Airways.

The no-frills airline yesterday revealed its passenger numbers for June were up almost a tenth over the previous year. Over 4.5 million people flew with the airline in June, up from 4.1m a year earlier.

A spokesman for the group said the company had planned for growth of 10% this year, adding June "was the first month not to be affected by the volcanic ash". This followed an 8% rise in passenger numbers during May. "EasyJet has grown through the recession," the spokesman said. "People are still flying, but they are more budget conscious." He added that the group had benefited from the woes at BA.

Gert Zonneveld, analyst at Panmure Gordon, said it was a positive sign that easyJet's planes were more full, citing a metric known as the "load factor," which rose from 86.3% to 87.2%, adding "the economic recovery was maybe a little stronger than they expected". The results echoed news the previous day that showed rival Ryanair's traffic had grown by 15% in June over the previous year from 5.8 million people to 6.7 million.