Ryanair has reported a 29% rise in passenger numbers for February as it announced the purchase of three more Boeing 737-800 planes.

Ryanair said today it carried a total of 5.8 million passengers last month, up from 4.5 million the same time last year.

The airline also said its load factor - how many seats it fills on each flight - rose 11% to 89% in February.

Meanwhile, Ryanair said the new planes, which are valued at $280m at current list prices, will be delivered early next year.

This brings the airline's total order to 183 737 plans as well as further orders for 200 Boeing Max 200 aircraft. 

The airline's chief executive Michael O'Leary said that these plane orders will alllow Ryanair to expand its fleet to over 520 planes and to increase its passenger numbers to 160 million by 2024.