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Ryanair shares climb as passenger numbers rise, despite August strikes

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Ryanair shares are higher Tuesday morning, after the budget airline revealed that its passenger numbers grew in August. That increase from a year earlier, came despite widespread pilot strikes as the Irish airline worked to gain agreements with European unions representing its staff.

By 0855 BST, Ryanair shares were 0.11% higher at €14.16. the stock has recovered somewhat after falling as low as €13 during early August.

Ryanair’s August passenger numbers

Earlier Tuesday, Ryanair published its latest passenger numbers. They showed a total increase of 9% to 13.8 million passengers for the airline during August compared with the same month a year earlier.

These figures include numbers from Laudamotion for the first time. However, even without the additional business, Ryanair only flights carried 5% more passengers during August than a year earlier. That rise came during a tough period for the Irish airline, as August hosted numerous one-day strikes among its pilots.

“Ryanair’s August traffic (which includes Lauda traffic for the first time) grew by 9% to 13.8m customers, while our load factor was unchanged at 97%, on the back of even lower fares,” said Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs.

“Regrettably, over 100,000 Ryanair customers had their flights cancelled in August because of repeated ATC staff shortages in the UK, Germany and France, and one day of unnecessary pilot strikes,” Jacobs said.

“Ryanair, together with other European airlines, calls for urgent action by the EU Commission and Governments to correct these ATC staff shortages which are disrupting the travel plans of millions of Europe’s consumers this summer,” he added.

Ryanair union agreements

While Ryanair has managed to secure two important agreement with the FORSA union who represents its Irish-based pilots, and the German pilots’ union, other pilots’ unions remain unhappy with the terms on offer from the airline.

Negotiations are ongoing nine months after Ryanair officially recognised pilots’ unions for the first time in its history.

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