Ryanair carried 100 million international passengers in 2015, as it plans Belfast return

The Irish firm claims to be the first airline to attract this volume of traffic...

Ryanair has just staked its claim as the first airline to carry more than 100 million international passengers in a calendar year.

Following a 25% jump in traffic in December, the airline says it carried a total of 101.4 million people in 2015 – an increase of 17%.

The company is set to announce its return to Belfast later today with the establishment of its 77th airport base at Belfast International Airport (Aldergrove).

It’s believed Ryanair will initiate a new Belfast to Gatwick route having secured at least one of the slots which Aer Lingus is being forced to relinquish there as a result of its takeover by IAG.

Ryanair hasn’t had a presence in Belfast since 2010 when it departed the rival Belfast City Airport following delays to a planned runway extension.

Meanwhile, the airline has appointed its first ever head of Public Affairs, the former Uber executive, Christian Samoilovich, to make its case with key European institutions in Brussels and with individual governments.

Kenny Jacobs, its chief marketing officer commented on the company's passing of the 100 million passenger milestone:

"We are pleased that over 101 million international customers chose to fly with Ryanair in 2015, as we became the first airline to reach this international traffic landmark.

"This is thanks to our load factor active/yield passive pricing, our expanding route network and the continuing success of our 'Always Getting Better' customer experience programme."