Ryanair traffic jumps 13% in April to record third busiest month ever

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Ryanair in Dublin

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ryanair flew 16 million passengers in April, up 13% year-on-year to record its third busiest month for traffic ever, Europe's largest airline by passenger numbers said on Wednesday.

The average proportion of empty seats per flight for the period - which included the Easter holidays - fell to 6%. The airline also cancelled more than 650 flights, affecting some 118,000 customers, due to French air traffic control strikes last month.

The Irish airline has only twice previously flown more than 16 million passengers in a month, last July and August when it carried 16.8 million and 16.9 million passengers respectively.

Ryanair expects to trim some flights in July and August due to delivery delays from Boeing but has said it will still hit its target of growing passenger numbers to 185 million this fiscal year from the 169 million in the 12 months to end-March.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin, Editing by Louise Heavens)