Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air, has recorded a 7% growth in passenger load factor compared to the same period last year, according to figures released by the airline. The airline’s load factor for the month of May was at 72%, compared to 65% in May 2014.
This growth can be partly attributed to the same-sex marriage referendum, when many UK-based Irish people returned home to exercise their vote. In the days leading up to the Referendum, the airline witnessed an increase in load factor of up to 13% compared to the same period last year.
Overall the airline has experienced a 3.4% growth in passenger load factor in the year to date, flying over 444,000 passengers in the first five months of 2015.
Aer Lingus Regional currently operates 640 flights per week across 27 routes from 20 departures points throughout Ireland, the UK and France.
The airline has launched a number of new routes in recent months, including Dublin – East Midlands, Dublin – Newquay, Cornwall, and Dublin – Doncaster Sheffield.
Aer Lingus Regional was awarded the tender to provide air services on the Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes from Kerry to Dublin and Donegal to Dublin last November.
The Kerry to Dublin route experienced its 15th consecutive month of growth, increasing passenger numbers on the route by 31% in the year to date, and in the process contributing to an increase in connecting flights through Dublin’s transatlantic hub to North America.
The airline’s Donegal to Dublin route enjoyed its fourth consecutive month of growth, with passenger numbers up 7.1% for the month of May.
Martin Saxton, Chief Commercial Officer, Stobart Air, said: “We are encouraged to see that the growth in load factor that we had experienced in the early part of the year has been maintained and is set to continue through the peak demand months of the summer holiday season. Our new routes are developing well, and supporting this growth.”