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Ryanair Passengers Rise 48%

On year demand for the low cost airline rises following promotions...

Ryanair, Europe's largest low cost airline, said that the number of passengers carried last month rose by almost half as it added routes and attracted travelers with fare promotions.

The passenger count rose to 1.02 million last month from 687,819 travelers a year earlier, the Dublin-based airline said in an e-mailed statement. The load factor, or proportion of seats filled, rose 7 percentage points to 79 percent.

Europe's most profitable airline holds down costs by flying to small airports outside major cities and encouraging online bookings. It has stimulated demand since September 11th with sales promotions, including giving away 300,000 one way flights.

The proportion of tickets sold over the Internet rose to 91 percent last month from 71 percent a year earlier, the statement said.