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TOURISMRyanair soars as Aer Lingus slips

PASSENGER numbers at Ryanair grew by 3pc or 300,000 people last month compared with February last year.

But rival Aer Lingus's passenger numbers were down 1.2pc to 640,000 over with the same period. Ryanair spokesman Robin Keily said the boost was due to its new customer service image.

He added: "Ryanair traffic grew by 300,000 to 4.5m customers in February, thanks to the success of our lower fares, our easier-to-use website and our recent customer service improvements, including allocated seats for all customers and the use of personal electronic devices on all flights.

"Further improvements will be rolled out over the coming months as Ryanair continues to lower prices and improve our industry-leading customer service."

INITIATIVES

EARLIER THIS MONTH THE AIRLINE'S OUTGOING DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE MICHAEL CAWLEY SAID THE COMPANY LOST FAMILIES "IN A BIG WAY" LAST YEAR. BUT HE ADDED THAT IT WOULD NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE IN 2014 AND UNVEILED A SERIES OF INITIATIVES AIMED AT GETTING THEM BACK.

By contrast, Aer Lingus said total traffic for last month was down 1.2pc to 640,000 passengers compared to February last year.

There was better news for the airline's transatlantic business with long-haul passengers increasing 7pc to 46,000. But short-haul passenger numbers were down 3.8pc to 512,000.

The overall passenger load factor in February 2014 was 67.3pc compared to 68.3pc for the same month in 2013.


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