A total of 5.4 million people flew with Ryanair in March, 100,000 fewer than the same month last year.

The airline had 5.5 million passengers in March 2012 and 5.7 million in March 2011.

However Ryanair’s load factor increased last month by 1% to 79%, with the company grounding up to 80 aircraft during the time.

Over 79 million passengers flew with Ryanair during the first three months of the year, a 5% increase on the same period last year.