Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair carried a record 79.6 million passengers in 2012, making it the second largest carrier in Europe in terms of passenger numbers.
In December, the budget airline carried 4.84 million passengers, and its load factor was up two percentage points year-on-year to 81 per cent.
Its annual total of almost 80 million was up by four per cent on 2011,
Spokesman Stephen McNamara said: “Ryanair enjoyed another record-breaking year in 2012 with almost 80m passengers choosing one of our ultra-low fares between Jan and Dec 2012.”
Ryanair is the second biggest airline in Europe in terms of passenger numbers, behind Lufthansa, which carried 95.95 million passengers between January and November 2012.
It is ahead of Air France-KLM (71.46 million from Jan-Nov); easyJet (54.41m from Jan-Nov); and International Airlines Group (50.56 million from Jan-Nov).