IAG, Easyjet and Ryanair all saw passenger numbers increase during 2012.
British Airways owner IAG, which also owns struggling Spanish carrier Iberia, recorded a 1.8 per cent rise in passengers to 54.6 million during last year. Load factors also rose by 1.5 percentage points to 80.3 per cent.
Easyjet meanwhile carried 59.2 million people over the 12 months – up by 6.7 per cent on 2011. It also saw load factors improve by 1.4 points to 88.9 per cent.
Ryanair enjoyed a 4 per cent rise in passengers to 79.6 million during the year although load factors were flat at 82 per cent.
Irish rival Aer Lingus also recorded a 1.5 per cent rise in passengers to 9.65 million during last year.
IAG said that its premium traffic during December was up by 4.6 per cent compared to the same month in 2011, although economy numbers fell by 0.4 per cent during the month.
“There is continued firmness in trends at British Airways and weakness in Spanish markets as in the previous months,” added the company in a statement.