BOOKED passenger numbers at Aer Lingus during December jumped after freezing winter conditions 12 months earlier weren't repeated, according to data released by the airline.
The total number of booked passengers at the carrier last month rose 11.5pc to 638,000. There were 13.9pc more booked passengers on its short-haul services, while on routes to the United States, the figure was down 5.9pc at 64,000.
Capacity on the Aer Lingus short-haul network rose 22.8pc year-on-year in December.
The short-haul load factor, or the percentage of available seats filled on those services, declined 5.5pc to 67.7pc last month.
On US routes, the load factor in December was 69.5pc, down 7.1pc , with capacity rising 5.6pc.
While it's difficult to draw any real meaningful conclusion from the latest data, due to the comparison with a previous period of brutal winter weather, Bloxham Stockbrokers said it believed Aer Lingus had "ended the year well".
But Davy noted that even allowing for tough comparisons, the load factor at Aer Lingus last month was the lowest for December at least as far back as 2005.