May’s Budget Air Numbers: Ryanair vs. SkyEurope

Posted in: Budget Air Travel


We apologize for the slight delay in our May low-cost carrier number crunching exercise. We were on holiday. We might just offer this excuse repeatedly over the next several days. Stay tuned.

In May, Ryanair carried 17% more passengers than in May 2006, though the leading budget airline’s load factor—or percentage of seats filled—fell 2%, from 82% for 80%.

Slovak challenger SkyEurope managed an amazing 40% increase in passengers numbers. Their load factor increased 8.9%, jumping from 70.5% to 79.4%—putting them a hair under Ryanair’s 80% load.

In more general overview news, Ryanair’s shares have fallen as of late, with the airline warning about reduced profit expectations, while SkyEurope continues to hemmorhage money. Meanwhile, easyJet has pledged to match Ryanair’s fare war. (Thanks to Airscoop for the alert!)

Suddenly, Europe’s LCCs suddenly appear to be in serious flux. We predict some consolidations, collapses, and reorientations over the next few months.

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,

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