Ryanair heads European traffic as airlines slow pace in 2019

Ryanair has announced it led traffic among European airlines in 2019, with growth at its Austrian unit Lauda contributing to the strong statistics, the company said.

Overall growth among leading operators in the region has lagged behind that of previous years.

Ryanair increased passenger numbers by more than 9% to reach 152.4 million for the calendar year. That includes more than 6 million passengers at Lauda, the subsidiary unit it established after fully acquiring Laudamotion in early 2019. The latter unit was itself established out of the assets of collapsed leisure carrier Niki.

Ryanair only operates short-haul flights; Lufthansa remains Europe´s biggest airline group in terms of RPK traffic. Air France-KLM, IAG, Turkish Airlines and Aeroflot are also bigger than Ryanair as measured by that metric.

Passenger numbers were down at Ryanairs´ low-cost arm Eurowings, reflecting the reorganisation at Eurowings after a challenging 2018.