July Air Stats: The Ryanair/SkyEurope Face-Off

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.

About the author

Alex Robertson Textor
About the author: Bitten by the travel bug at 11, Alex Robertson Textor has fond childhood memories of ultracheap Spanish hotels (the kind with Styrofoam shelving) and supermarket lunches scarfed on park benches. Formerly an academic, Alex has spent the last several years redirecting his professional life into full-time travel journalism and editing. He has published articles in the New York Times, Guardian Unlimited, Condé Nast Traveler, Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian, among other publications.
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