EasyJet’s passenger tally increased 6.7 percent in the 12 months, outstripping growth of 4 percent at Dublin-based Ryanair, which added 3.2 million customers for a total of 79.6 million, 20.4 million more than its Luton, England-based rival.
EasyJet Chief Executive Officer Carolyn McCall has boosted frequencies on key routes while using allocated seats, flexible tickets and corporate agents to grab a bigger slice of business travel. The U.K. airline carried 4.34 million passengers in December, it said in a statement, up 204,000 from a year earlier, as Ryanair boosted its total by 80,000 to 4.7 million.
Aer Lingus Group Plc (AERL), Ireland’s No. 2 airline and subject to a takeover bid from Ryanair, carried 9.65 million passengers last year, up 1.5 percent from 2011. The December total jumped by 734,000, or 7.2 percent, according to a statement.
EasyJet, whose stock added 79 percent last year, rose as much as 2.8 percent and traded 2.4 percent higher at 840.50 pence as of 3:01 p.m. in London. Ryanair, which advanced 30 percent in 2012, was priced up 2.1 percent at 5.05 euros.
EasyJet filled 88.9 percent of available seats, compared with a load factor of 82 percent at Ryanair and almost 78 percent at Aer Lingus, which is also based in Dublin.
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