BUDGET airlines continued their Indian summer in September with strong passenger growth, as they benefited from a mixture of people booking late holidays, new routes and customer enhancement programmes.
Ryanair revealed that its passenger traffic jumped 12 per cent last month to a record 9.55 million customers, with its key load factor – the amount of its plane seats that are sold – rising 4 percentage points to 94 per cent. Rolling annual traffic to September rose 16 per cent.
Meanwhile, Wizz Air, the biggest low-cost airline in central and eastern Europe, said passenger numbers in September lifted 22 per cent to 1.8 million passengers, while its load factor rose to just shy of 91 per cent from 87.5 per cent.
The latest figures came after Ryanair and EasyJet said recently that they had seen a surge of late-summer UK bookings as customers flocked to get away from the poor August weather.
Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, said yesterday: “These record monthly numbers and load factors are due to our lower fares, our stronger forward bookings and the continuing success of our ‘Always Getting Better’ customer experience programme,’ which continues to deliver stronger than expected traffic and load factors on our biggest ever summer schedule.”
Jacobs cited enhancements to the customer offering of a new car hire service, a website, app, cabin interiors, crew uniforms and improved in-flight menus.
Wizz Air said it continued to expand its customer offering, with nine new routes added to the network – four in Romania and five in Poland – starting in the second half of this financial year.
The airline said it had also launched the Slovakian language version of wizzair.com, its 23rd language.