Ryanair passenger numbers up 11% in January

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Ryanair has posted an 11% increase in passenger numbers for the first month of 2009, although load factor has remained stable.

The Irish budget carrier, which yesterday unveiled a third-quarter loss of almost €102 million ($131 million), said it carried 11% more customers last month than for the corresponding period in 2008, to reach 4.08 million passengers.

Despite the increase, load factor for January 2009 remained at 69%. For the 12 months to 31 January this year Ryanair says it carried 58.1 million passengers with an average load factor of 81%.

Although the third-quarter figure was negative, the airline expects to make a full-year, pre-exceptional net profit of €50-€80 million.