No-frills airline Ryanair saw its passenger numbers and load factor decline in March compared to a year earlier, partly as a result of reduced capacity.
The Irish airline carried 5.5m passengers in March 2012, down 4% on March 2011′s 5.7m.
The load factor only eased by one percentage point – from 79% to 78% – however, as the company has decided to keep scores of aircraft grounded to to higher oil prices.
In the year-to-date, Ryanair has carried 75.8m passengers and its load factor in the first three months of the year has been 82%.
‘As previously guided, Ryanair’s 2011/12 winter traffic was expected to decline by approx 5% as we sit up to 80 aircraft on the ground due to higher oil prices,’ noted Stephen McNamara, Ryanair’s head of communications.