Ryanair reports decline in passenger numbers

Ryanair's passenger numbers descended in January after the budget carrier grounded up to 80 airlines following the busy holiday season.

Ryanair's passenger numbers descended in January after the budget carrier grounded up to 80 airlines following the busy holiday season.

The European company said it carried 4.35m customers last month, a 1.0% fall or 50,000 less than the previous year.

It held 500,000 less passengers than a month earlier, or a 10% decline.

In the year to this January, Ryanair had close to 80m passengers and a load factor of 82%.

The news comes as the group bids to takeover Ireland's national flag carrier Aer Lingus from regional airline carrier Flybe.

Flybe confirmed Tuesday that Ryanair agreed to pay €100m and transfer a number of aircraft and operating routes to Flybe as part of a package of concessions it has submitted to the European Commission.

Under the terms of the proposed agreement, a new entity would be set up, into which the €100m, liabilities and business assets would be transferred. Flybe would then acquire the entity.

Flybe stated that the proposal had not yet been approved by its board and would be subject to Flybe shareholder approval.

Previously, the European Commission has resisted Ryanair's bid to buy Aer Lingus, arguing that in doing so, Ryanair would create a monopoly on about 46 routes and would create antitrust issues on a further 20.

Ryanair's shares were down 0.98% to €5.56 at 14:54.

RD

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