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In July, Ryanair filled their planes impressively, managing a load factor of 90%. This number is identical to the Irish low-cost carrier’s July 2006 load factor numbers. Even more impressive is Ryanair’s 21% increase in passengers carried in July of this year against July 2006 numbers. Clearly, this summer’s fare war helped to fill planes in July.
Earlier this year, SkyEurope had a clear advantage over Ryanair in these monthly face-offs. This advantage appears to have vaporized. While the Slovak low-cost carrier’s load factors are improving—July’s 87.6% load factor is up 3.4% over July 2006′s 84.2% load factor—they now lag behind Ryanair on this measure. And their percentage increase in passengers flown in July against July 2006 is also less impressive, at just 11.8%.
Also of note, yesterday’s FT reports that Ryanair has entered the race to control the Spanish low-cost market with all guns blazing. Shortly, we can expect an announcement that the airline will be setting up two additional bases in Alicante and Valencia.