Ryanair busiest airline, IATA report

Ryanair, the Ireland-based low fares airline, has claimed that the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) report confirms that it remains the world’s favourite airline.

According to IATA’s latest World Airline Transport Statistics, Ryanair carried more international passengers than any other airline. The Irish budget airline carried 81.3m international passengers last year, almost 29m more than second-placed Easyjet (52.7m) and 30m more than third-placed Lufthansa (50.7m).

According to the IATA statistics, Ryanair carried more international passengers than: EasyJet, Iberia and SAS combined (< 76m); British Airways, Air France and Alitalia combined (< 77m); Lufthansa and Air Berlin combined (< 74m) and over eight times more passengers than Irish regional carrier Aer Lingus (9.6m).

Meanwhile, Ryanair said that it will carry more than 84.6m passengers this year. The airline also celebrated its position by releasing 100, 000 seats for sale across its European network, at prices starting from EUR19.99 for travel in July & August. These low fare seats are available for booking on the Ryanair.com website until midnight Thursday (12 June).

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: ‘IATA has once again confirmed that Ryanair is the world’s favourite airline, carrying more international scheduled passengers than any other carrier. Even the combined traffic of EasyJet, Iberia and SAS is still less than Ryanair’s total traffic.

Consumers choose Ryanair for our lowest fares, great routes choice and our improving customer experience, including our new website, allocated seating, a free 2nd small carry-on bag allowance and PED (portable electric device) use on all flights, as Ryanair continues to deliver so much more than just the lowest fares for our 81.3m customers.’

The Irish airline, which was in the news last year for poor customer service and treatment, said earlier this year that its customer improvement initiatives including its low fares offer have proved effective as the airline carried record numbers of customers since last December.


Dubai to overtake Heathrow as world’s busiest airport

Dubai International Airport is set to overtake London Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport next year, News24.com has reported, citing Willie Walsh, CEO of the International Airlines Group (IAG), the holding company of British Airways and Iberia.

‘In 2001 Dubai was number 99 in the world in terms of international tourist arrivals. London Heathrow was number one. Last year in 2012, Dubai ranked number two. London Heathrow was still number one, but next year Dubai will overtake Heathrow,’ Walsh said, adding that the growth of Dubai as an aviation hub was helped by the enabling role played by the gulf governments.

Walsh said that the government in Dubai recognised the strengths of their geographic location and the value of aviation for the region. ‘So they created the environment for the industry to flourish. They built world class airports and other infrastructure for Emirates and created a tax environment that was in favour of the airline,’ he said.

Dubai Airports chairman, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, also told Bloomberg that Dubai International Airport will overtake London Heathrow to become the world’s busiest civil aviation hub by next year. Dubai’s annual traffic report showed that 57.6m passengers passed through the hub last year, a 13.2 percent increase compared to 2011. The statistics made Dubai the world’s third busiest airport, overtaking Hong Kong International.

Walsh hit out at the UK government’s high aviation taxes, saying: ‘The continued high taxes is madness. And it’s damaging the industry and the UK economy.’

Airline, Bmi, and over 250 UK business leaders have recently asked the UK government to abolish the high air taxes in line with a similar move by Ireland.

In the meantime, a study conducted by travel search site, Skyscanner, has named Heathrow the best European airport for families. Presently the world’s busiest airport, London Heathrow carries almost 70 million passengers each year.