Aer Lingus passenger numbers glide lower

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Irish airline Aer Lingus today reported a dip in passenger numbers for November as it came under pressure from price-cutting rivals.

The group said flew 728,000 people last month, 5 per cent lower than a year earlier, although the carrier insisted the drop was in line with its expectations.

Last month Aer Lingus said it did not predict an improvement in the short-haul environment in the remainder of this year, pointing to “heavily discounted fare offerings across Europe”.

Low-budget rival Ryanair, which has been ordered to reduce its stake in Aer Lingus after making three takeover attempts, yesterday said that its passenger figures for November grew 6 per cent to 5.2 million – a record for the month.