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Annual traffic on no-frills airline jumps by 13pc

Ryanair carried 4.9 million passengers last month, a 12pc rise on the same month in 2008, it disclosed yesterday. Its annual traffic for the calendar year, 2009, jumped 13pc to 65 million.

The no-frills airline said that August became its busiest month ever, when it carried 6.9 million passengers. In December, its load factor rose two percentage points to 82pc. Chief executive Michael O'Leary said Ryanair remains "on course" to carry over 66 million passengers in the current financial year.

British Airways yesterday said that its traffic in December, measured in revenue passenger kilometres, fell 4pc year-on-year. It added that its premium traffic fell 0.7pc and non-premium traffic was 4.6pc lower.

Ryanair also divulged that it has hedged about 50pc of its fuel requirements for the financial year ended March 2011 at approximately $720 a tonne.

The carrier also said it won't suspend its domestic Italian flights after settling a dispute with the country's civil aviation authority, ENAC.

Ryanair had threatened to suspend the flights after ENAC said domestic passengers should be able to use identification including fishing and drivers' licences to board internal flights.

Ryanair wanted to ensure passengers had to use either a national identity card or passport to allow for web-based check-in.

ENAC relented, and has said passengers will continue to have to present the two standard forms of documentation.

Irish Independent