Aer Lingus load factors up a point in February

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Aer Lingus passenger load factor was up a point to 68.3% in February, driven by a strong improvement on its short-haul flights.

Passenger load factor was up 1.5 percentage points on short-haul and virtually unchanged on its long-haul service compared to February 2012.

The carrier's passenger traffic, excluding Aer Lingus regional flights, was down 6.8% in February. This though in part reflected the distorting impact of the extra day in February 2012 because of the leap year. Aer Lingus' capacity was cut 7.8%, helping to lift load factor levels.

The carrier's passenger numbers were down 4% in Feburary to 575,000 and only 1.5% lower when including its growing Aer Lingus Regional activities. These grew nearly a fifth in February to 73,000 passengers.