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Ryanair's load factor rises in February - British Airways' premium traffic slumps 20% - share wrap

Ryanair announced it carried 4.13 million passengers in February, a 7% improvement year-on-year. Encouragingly for the LCC, its load factor improved by 3 ppts to 78%. Investors liked the traffic report, sending the carrier's shares up 9.8%. The positive report rubbed off on easyJet, whose shares rose 8.6%.

Ryanair is now carrying almost twice as many passengers as British Airways (BA). BA's passenger numbers fell 10% last month to 2.17 million, as the recession slashed premium demand by 20% and snowstorms hit volumes at UK airports at the start of February. Investors shrugged- off the report, sending BA's shares up 7% yesterday.

European selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 04-Mar-09