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EasyJet says March passenger traffic up 20.5%

British budget airline easyJet Plc said on Monday its total number of passengers climbed 20.5% year-on-year in March to just over 3.7 million, helped by the acquisition of GB Airways.

The company added that its load factor - a measure of how well it fills planes - was 87.4%, up from 84.4% last year.

EasyJet operated flights recorded a 13.7% rise, while the GB Airways figures fell 10.8%, it said. From next month the airline will stop reporting the two numbers separately.

It could not immediately be reached for further comment.

Shares in the firm, down nearly 40% this year, were up 2.5% at 384 pence, valuing it at Ł1.6 billion ($3.20 billion).

EasyJet issued a profit warning last month, citing higher fuel costs driven upwards by the price of oil. (Reuters)