Lufthansa overtaken by Ryanair in passenger numbers in 2016

FRANKFURT, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Germany’s Lufthansa reported a 1.8-percent increase in 2016 passengers on Tuesday, but it was not enough to stop Ryanair overtaking it as Europe’s largest airline in terms of the number of people it carried.

Lufthansa’s 109.7 million passengers in 2016 came in short of the 117 million passengers reported by Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair last week, a 15 percent increase on the previous year, as Ryanair pulled in passengers with low prices.

The year saw strong performances from other budget carriers, with Norwegian Air Shuttle reporting passenger numbers up 14 percent to 29 million and Wizz Air up 19 percent to 22.7 million.

EasyJet, which suffered more than low-cost rivals from strikes in France and as tourists avoided destinations hit by attacks, grew passenger numbers just 6.6 percent to 74.5 million. (Reporting by Victoria Bryan and Ludwig Burger; Editing by Christoph Steitz)