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Seats booked on Ryanair up by 5pc

THE number of booked seats sold by Ryanair in January rose 5pc to 4.66 million, according to data released by the carrier yesterday.

It brought the year-to-date figure to 72.9 million. The airline's load factor rose one percentage point to 71pc.

World food prices hit all-time record


WORLD food prices rose to a record high in January, according to the UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). The FAO Food Price Index, which measures the wholesale prices, averaged 231 points last month -- its highest level since records began in 1990. It was up 3.4pc from December, the seventh monthly rise for the index.

BT posts 7pc rise in third-quarter profits


BT Group, the UK's largest fixed-line phone company which employs more than 3,200 people in Ireland, posted a 7pc increase in third-quarter adjusted operating profit, as it rolled out high-speed fibre services to counter declining revenue from its traditional fixed-line offerings. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortisation and costs from job cuts climbed to £1.48bn (€1.75bn) at the end of December.

Aer Lingus expects passenger growth


AER Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller has said that Ireland could experience some air passenger growth in 2012 and added that he is keen on establishing a code-share agreement within the Asia-Pacific region, he told a German newspaper. He also said that there may be additional scope for cost-saving at the airline.

Airbus to increase A330 production


AIRBUS said it will increase production of its A330 family of aircraft starting next year to satisfy "unprecedented" demand for the wide-body jet. The company, based in Toulouse, France, will increase production to nine jets a month in early 2012, and go to 10 A330s from the second quarter of 2013. Current production stands at eight a month. Demand for the aircraft has increased in part because Boeing has struggled to deliver its competing 787 Dreamliner jet on time.

Irish Independent