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Ryanair and Wizz Air edge higher on improved passenger numbers

Both airlines improved their figures despite a later Easter and several air traffic control strikes

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Ryanair had to cancel 530 flights in March because of air traffic control disruption

Shares in Ryanair Holdings PLC (LON:RYA) and Wizz Air Holdings PLC (LON:WIZZ) edged higher this morning after the two low-cost airlines both saw a rise in the number of passengers last month.

Irish firm Ryanair told investors it carried 9.4mln passengers in March, a 10% increase compared to the same month last year.

That rise came despite the cancellation of more the 500 flights due to air traffic control strikes.

Load factor for the month was unchanged at 94%, although maintaining that number is still fairly impressive given that Easter – when more people catch flights home or to see relatives – falls later this year.

In line with the upped guidance last month, rolling annual traffic grew 13% to 120mln customers.

Growth in March was a little stronger for Wizz, which carried 19% more passengers during the month compared to last year.

Load factor also increased by 4.1 percentage points to 90.4%, despite the negative effect of a later Easter this year.

On a rolling 12-month basis, passenger numbers for the Central and Eastern Europe-focused group were up 19% to 23.7mln.

Shares in Ryanair were up almost 1% to ‎€14.65, while Wizz Air shares added 1.5% to trade at £16.69.

Quick facts: Ryanair Holdings plc

Price: 9.65 EUR

LSE:RYA
Market: LSE
Market Cap: €10.5 billion
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