Low-Cost Airlines: Shaky Numbers

Vueling plane over Barcelona

On Monday, we ran through our standard reflections on Ryanair and SkyEurope‘s performances over the previous month, this time throwing in Monarch‘s stats for good measure. While SkyEurope continues to see an increase in passenger load factor—that is, the average number of purchased seats as a percentage of available seats—both Ryanair and Monarch have seen decreases.

Meanwhile, over at easyJet, passenger load factor in April is down 3.3% against April 2006 figures, though at 83.1% it still trounces most other low-cost carriers on this count. As this story and others have noted, its shares have been hit by the airline’s latest news. EasyJet has indicated that fares will be reduced over the summer months in order to boost passenger numbers. Meanwhile, Air Scoop tipped us to Vueling’s load factor situation: at 75.7% in April, it has dipped under a single percent against April 2006 stats.

Will other airlines follow easyJet’s lead and reduce fares as a way to fill more seats?

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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