Budget airlines Ryanair Holdings PLC (LON:RYA) and Wizz Air Holdings PLC (LON:WIZZ) both reported double-digit passenger growth for September, with Ryanair retaining its load factor edge despite further cancellations due to strike action.
Ryanair reported that passenger numbers had risen 11% year-on-year (YOY) to 13.1mln, while its load factor remained flat at 97%.
In its divisions, the firm’s core Ryanair business grew 6% YOY to 12.6% with a 97% load factor, while its Lauda arm reported 0.5mln passengers with a load factor of 93%.
However, the company continued to suffer from flight cancellations due to strike action from its pilots and cabin crews as well as air traffic controller shortages in the UK, Germany, and France which caused over 400 flights to be cancelled during the month, although despite this the company completed over 68,000 of its scheduled flights.
Meanwhile, FTSE 250 constituent Wizz Air reported that passenger numbers had grown 17.5% YOY to 3.1mln while its load factor had increased by 1.2% to 94.1%.
The airline also reported 16% YOY growth in capacity to 3.3mln seats, bolstered by a seventh aircraft being added to its Gdansk fleet three new routes announced to and from Poland.
In the rolling 12 months to the end of September, the airline reported 21.8% growth in passenger numbers to 32.7mln, with load factor rising 0.7% to 91.9%.
Despite continued growth in passenger numbers, Ryanair’s stats are likely to be overshadowed by a profit warning issued yesterday when full-year forecasts were cut 12% and sent shares tumbling 13%.
In late-afternoon trading Tuesday, Ryanair shares were down 0.8% at 11.3p while Wizz Air shares were down 2.7% at 2,577p.
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