Ryanair has reported a 28% increase in passenger numbers for the month of February.

The airline said it carried 7.4 million passengers last month, up from 5.8 million the same month last year.

Its load factor - how many seats it fills on each flight - also rose to 93% from 89%.

Ryanair said the record figures were due to stronger forward bookings and the continuing success of the airline's "Always Getting Better" customer experience programme.

Meanwhile, the airline said it will start seven new routes from Belfast International Airport from next autumn. 

Ryanair is basing two additional planes at Aldergrove and will fly weekly to Alicante, Berlin, Krakow, Lanzarote, Malaga, Milan and Tenerife.

It also said it would increase the frequency of its service from Belfast to London Gatwick.