Ryanair was forced to cancel more than 300 flights last month due to an airport strike, bad weather and air traffic control staff shortages.

Europe’s largest no-frills airline still managed to increase passenger carryings by 7% to 12.6 million in October over the same month last year.

Austrian offshoot Lauda flew 500,000 passengers to bring the overall total up to 13.1 million – an increase of 11% year-on-year.

Ryanair, which was the focus of a high profile alleged racist incident on one of its flights last month, achieved a load factor of 96%.

Chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said: “Ryanair’s Octover traffic, which includes Lauda, grew by 11% to 13.1 million customers, due to lower fares and continuing success of Lauda’s summer schedule.

“During October, we were forced to cancel just over 300 flights because of a five day airport handler strike at Brussels Zaventem, some adverse weather – winter storms = and continuing ATC staff shortages in the UK, Germany and France.

“We operated over 71,400 scheduled flights with over 80% of these flights arriving on time.”