Low-Cost Airlines: Shaky Numbers

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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: Alex Robertson Textor is a London-based travel writer and editor. He has written for Rough Guides, the New York Times, and Public Books, among other publications; he also guided the tablet magazine Travel by Handstand to two SATW Foundation Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism awards. With Pam Mandel, he writes copy and generates ideas as White Shoe Travel Content. He is on Twitter as @textorian and maintains his own blog, www.textorian.com.

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