Aer Lingus has reported a 5.3% increase in passenger numbers for May.

The airline said that it flew 1,021,000 passengers - including those on its Aer Lingus Regional service - last month. This compares to 970,000 the same month last year.

Its short-haul passenger numbers rose by 3.7% to 914,000 while long haul passengers jumped by 20.2% to 107,000 in the month.

The airline noted that in the year to date, its long haul traffic has increased by 11%.

Aer Lingus said today that its load factor - how many seats it fills on each flight - rose to 79.8% from 76.2%.

Its short haul load factor rose to 77.2% from 73.8% with capacity dropping by 1.8%, while its long haul load factor moved up to 84.4% from 81.5% with capacity increasing last month by 16.8% on the same time last year.