September 4, 2018 / 6:26 AM / 2 months ago

Ryanair passenger numbers up 9 percent in strike-hit August

Aircrafts of low-cost airliner Ryanair are parked at the tarmac of Weeze airport near the German-Dutch border during a wider European strike of Ryanair airline crews to protest slow progress in negotiating a collective labour agreement at Weeze airport, Germany, August 10, 2018. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

(Reuters) - Europe’s largest low-cost airline Ryanair (RYA.I) flew 9 percent more passengers in August than a year ago, it said on Tuesday, its purchase of Austrian carrier Laudamotion helping offset the impact of strikes and staff shortages.

Ryanair came to terms with its Irish pilots late last month after strikes and shortages caused 550 flight cancellations in August compared to just 27 a year ago.

The Irish airline endured its worst one-day strike earlier in August after a walk-out by pilots in five European countries disrupted the plans of an estimated 55,000 people at the height of the summer holiday season.

The airline is still stuck in negotiations with other trade unions, with Dutch pilots’ body VNV saying the Irish agreement did not appear to cover all the issues at stake in its conflict.

Separate figures for traffic at European budget carrier Wizzair, which competes with Ryanair in eastern Europe and flies around a quarter as many passengers, showed numbers up 20 percent year on year. [nRSD6294Za]

Ryanair’s total traffic grew to 13.8 million passengers, including half a million from its purchase of Laudamotion, which EU regulators approved in July.

Reporting by Patrick Graham; Editing by Chris Peters

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