Budget airlines break August records

FlyBE., which transformed itself into a budget carrier from British European a year ago this month, carried 321,065 passengers during August, a year-on-year increase of 36.8%.

Average load factor jumped 12.4 points to 81.4%, while yields were ‘in line with expectation’.
The airline said the record number of passengers carried in August meant it was on track to achieve its 12-month rolling target of 4m.
Traffic was particularly strong at FlyBE.‘s new Southampton base, where five routes achieved load factors in excess of 90%. Since the airline started operating from Southampton, passenger numbers at the BAA-owned airport have increased by 78%. FlyBE. is now the biggest operator at both Southampton and Birmingham airports.
The airline said it expected to make a profit of £2.5m and turnover to reach £236m in 2003/04.
easyJet, meanwhile, carried 1,985,038 passengers last month, 17% more than in August 2002. Load factor improved from 87.2% to 88.1%.
But FlyBE. and easyJet still have some way to go to catch Ryanair, which last week reported it carried 2,141,664 passengers in August, an increase of 44% from August 2002 and the airline’s highest monthly total in its 18-year history. However, load factor declined by five points to 90%.