Norwegian and Ryanair still growing; SkyEurope traffic down almost 40% as Easter moves to April

Image: Norweigen
Norwegian, which recently took delivery of the 6,000th 737, reported growth in passenger numbers in February. March this year was Easter-free, which actually benefitted Norwegian whose sizable domestic market is made up primarily of business travellers.

Figures for March for eight of Europe’s biggest LCCs, show that as in February only Norwegian and Ryanair have reported growth in passenger numbers. While the extra day last year distorted February figures by around three percentage points, March this year was Easter-free. While this has negatively impacted most LCCs it actually benefits Norwegian whose sizable domestic market is made up primarily of business travellers.

Chart: Passenger Development
Source: Airline websites, UK CAA

easyJet saw traffic fall for a second successive month while Vueling (down over 30%) and SkyEurope (down almost 40%) saw the biggest drop in year-on-year passenger numbers.

Chart: Monthly Load Factors
Source: Airline websites, AENA, UK CAA
Note: Load factors for bmibaby, clickair and are “flown”, all others are “booked”.

Load factors improved in March (versus February) for all airlines except easyJet and Ryanair. Year-on-year the only LCCs reporting improved load factors were Aer Lingus and Norwegian (both up less than one percentage point) and SkyEurope, where load factors were up almost three percentage points. Spain’s soon-to-merge LCCs, clickair and Vueling, were once again the only LCCs with load factors of less than 70% in March.

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