Ryanair passenger traffic rises 5% to 13.3m in August

Airline grapples flight cancellations due to industrial action, ATC shortages

Traffic at Ryanair grew 5 per cent in August, with the airline carrying 13.3 million passengers as it grappled with flight cancellations and industrial action.

Pilots in five countries staged simultaneous one-day strikes as they sought pay increases and contractual changes. Ryanair cancelled 550 flights in August due to the strike and staff shortages in air traffic control in the UK, Germany and France. The cancellations affected 100,000 passengers, the airline said.

The airline has called for "urgent action" by governments and the EU Commission to deal with the staff shortages. It has also submitted a formal complaint to the European Commission and the UK Civil Aviation Authority alleging discrimination against it and Stansted Airport by air traffic controller providers. A spokeswoman for ATC provider NATS rejected Ryanair's assertions.

Ryanair said load factor, a measure of how full its planes are, remained at 97 per cent for the period.

Ryanair owns a 75 per cent stake in low-cost airline Laudamotion, which was founded by Formula One champion Niki Lauda. When passengers passengers carried by Lauda grew were taken into account, total traffic rose 9 per cent to 13.8 million for August.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist