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Last week, we reported on Ryanair’s passenger and load factor numbers for March 2007: up 26% in passengers flown and down 1% in load factor against March 2006 numbers. An astute commentor pointed out that this decreased load factor doesn’t mean that Ryanair is making any less money. Profit (and possibly creeping fares) aside, we find the slight dip interesting at the very least—and all the more so in comparison with Slovak low-cost carrier SkyEurope’s March 2007 numbers.
In March 2007, SkyEurope managed a hefty 48.5% increase in passengers flown and a 14% increase in load factor against March 2006 stats. We’ve been following head-to-head stats offered by both airlines for three months now, and SkyEurope has come out on top in each of those months.
Ryanair, of course, remains a much busier airline, transporting about 14 times the passengers handled by SkyEurope. It carried 3,767,748 passengers in March 2007 against a tally of 264,621 passengers carried by SkyEurope.
Nonetheless, SkyEurope is emerging as a major player on the low-cost carrier scene. We anticipate that the airline will continue to make a name for itself, especially if the media speculation regarding the airline’s expansion into Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine turns out to be on the mark.