easyJet repeats “double”; load factors start to fall from August peak

For the second month in a row easyJet is the fastest growing of the major European LCCs that report traffic data and also has the highest load factor. Thanks in part to its acquisition earlier in the year of GB Airways, easyJet’s passenger numbers were up over 22% in September. Ryanair’s growth of just over 20% was not far behind. Norwegian was the only other reporting LCC to register double-digit growth.

Chart: Euro LCC
Source: Airline websites, UK CAA

Air Berlin (-3.1%) and Germanwings (-1.6%) both reported a year-on-year fall in passenger numbers in September, whilst Vueling’s passenger numbers were down just over 20%.

Chart: Euro LCC 2
Source: Airline websites, AENA, UK CAA

All eight of the LCCs for which data was available reported lower load factors in September than in August. The two Spanish LCCs reported the biggest falls, with Vueling’s load factor falling almost 15 points to just over 70%. Clickair’s load factor on flights to and from its Barcelona hub fell back to below 70%.

Seven of the eight LCCs reported lower load factors this September than in the same period last year – the exception being easyJet which saw its average occupancy increase by almost two percentage points. For the second successive month Norwegian, SkyEurope and Vueling all had load factors more than five percentage points lower than one year ago.


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