EasyJet’s performance last month was hit by almost 180 flight cancellations, mainly due to air traffic control strikes in France and Italy.

The budget airline said it cancelled 179 flights in the month against 27 in October 2012.

“The increase in cancellations was largely driven by air traffic control strikes at French and Italian airports,” easyJet said.

Passenger carryings in October rose by 5.4% to 5.5 million over the same month last year. The load factor improved by 0.7 percentage points to 89.1%.

The airline carried 4% more passengers in the 12 months to October at 61 million.