LONDON (XFNews) - Ryanair Holdings PLC, the Dublin-based no-frills airline, reported passenger growth of 27 pct for August and claims it now carries more passengers in Europe than British Airways PLC does across its entire worldwide network.
The airline, which operates 250 routes across 21 countries, said it carried 3.26 mln passengers last month, up from 2.57 mln in August last year, giving a rolling 12 month total of 30.97 mln. Its load factor -- passengers as a proportion of capacity -- was 98 pct versus 97 pct last time.
Earlier, BA said it carried 3.1 mln passengers in August, some 156,000 less than Ryanair, a fall of 3.9 pct on last August. Mocking BA's famous advertising slogan, Michael OLeary, Ryanair's chief executive said in a statement: "It's official -- Ryanair has today become the World's favourite airline!" However, the UK flag carrier disputes Ryanair's maths.
A BA spokesman pointed out that Ryanair includes so called "no shows" in its figures, which industry-wide are typically as high as 8 pct of passengers.
"We only count bums on seats and we don't include anyone flying on a complimentary basis or on air miles." At 4.05 pm shares in BA were up 3/4 pence at 280-3/4, shares in Ryanair were up 13 cents at 6.71 eur.