Aer Lingus said its total passenger numbers - including those on its regional operations - inched 0.9% higher in August to 1,126,000 compared to the same time last year.

The airline said that its long haul flown passenger numbers last month jumped by 17.5% to 121,000 while its short haul passenger numbers dipped 0.8% to 1,005,00.

Its load factor - how many seats it fills on each flight - fell by 0.7 points in August to 86.6%. Aer Lingus said that good weather conditions in July had ''somewhat eroded'' its forward booking profile.

The airline said the impact of this is reflected in its short haul figures, where the load factor fell by 2.5 points to stand at 82.1%. Capacity in the sector decreased by 1.9%.

The long haul load factor rose by 1.7 points to 94.9%, with capacity increasing by 15.7% in August of this year compared to the same time last year.