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Travel boom: EasyJet, Wizz Air and Norwegian all increase passenger numbers

City A.M. Monday, 6 November 2017
Travel boom: EasyJet, Wizz Air and Norwegian all increase passenger numbersThe travel industry boom continued to show it has legs (or wings) this morning as three of Europe's budget airlines reported increased passenger numbers for October.

*EasyJet*

​The FTSE 100 airline EasyJet grew its number of passengers by 9.9 per cent in October, bringing the monthly total to over 7.5m people.

It also increased efficiency, with the load factor increasing to 92.5 per cent, up from 90.2 per cent last year.

But there were more cancellations last month, as the French ATC strike and Storms Brian and Ophelia caused 434 cancellations compared with 164 in 2016. 

Over the past 12 months, EasyJet carried 80.9m passengers, 10 per cent more than the previous period.

EasyJet is set to increase its capacity even further after agreeing to take on certain assets from the defunct Air Berlin and hire 1,000 of its staff.

*Read more*: EasyJet agrees employment terms to save 1,000 Air Berlin jobs

*Wizz Air*

Meanwhile the smaller but faster growing Wizz Air increased its load factor by a similar margin to EasyJet, up to 92.1 per cent from 90 per cent.

This coincide with a 27.5 per cent increase in capacity to almost 3m seats as the airline added 13 new routes. Passenger numbers were up 30.5 per cent on last October to 2.6m.

On a rolling 12-month basis, Wizz has increased its capacity by nearly 30 per cent and seen a 33.5 per cent in passenger numbers.

*Read more*: Wizz Air on track for flying revenues as airline gets Brexit-ready

*Norwegian*

Norwegian chalked up slightly higher numbers than Wizz, carrying more 3.1m passengers in October, marking a 14 per cent increase. This was accompanied by a 31 per cent increase in capacity, but the airline's load factor was shy of its competitors at 87.4 per cent.

"The growth is highest on our intercontinental routes and the overall demand is satisfactory and stable," noted chief executive Bjørn Kjos. The competition is still strong, so global expansion is important to position ourselves in the market.”

*Read more*: Norwegian shares take off after airline gets green light for US flights
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