With 142 million passengers in 2018, up from 130 million in 2017, the group highlights its airlines’ achievements.
The airlines of the Lufthansa Group carried a total of 142 million passengers in 2018, up from the roughly 130 million seen in 2017 and setting a new passenger record.
Also record-breaking for the group overall were the number of flights, at more than 1.2 million, and the load factor, at 81.4%. Tighter capacity discipline is expected in 2019.
The main growth drivers for the airlines were the Zurich, Munich and Vienna hubs, with passenger growth there of 9.5%, 9.3% and 8.5%, respectively. Passengers at Frankfurt grew by a slightly more modest 4.7%.
In December alone, the Lufthansa Group’s carriers saw 10 million passengers on board their aircraft, up 6.9% over the same month last year.
The number of seat kilometres offered was 11% up on the previous year, while sales increased by 10.6%. This resulted in a seat load factor of 78.5%, 0.3 percentage points lower than in December 2017 and some way down on the average for the year.
Network vs point-to-point
The network airlines in the group – Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian – carried around 104 million passengers in 2018, 7.4% more than in 2017. Their load factor rose 0.4 percentage points to 81.5%.
In December these airlines carried a total of 7.3 million passengers, 5.8% more than in the same month in 2017, with seat kilometres up 9.2% and sales in seat kilometres up 9.1%, so that load factor fell by 0.1 percentage points to 78.7%.
As for point-to-point traffic, Eurowings (including Germanwings) and Brussels Airlines carried 2.6 million passengers in December, around 2.3 million of these on short-haul flights and 294,000 long-haul.
This represents a 9.9% rise over the previous year, conflicting with a 19.5% increase in the number of flights on offer during the month offset by a 17.5% increase in sales.
At 78%, the load factor for the point-to-point carriers was 1.4 percentage points lower than in the same month in 2017.
On short-haul routes, the number of seat kilometres offered increased by 18% in December, while the number of seat kilometres sold rose by 13.9% over the same period. At 74.3 per cent, load factor for these routes was 2.6% lower than year-on-year.
For long-haul, the load factor rose slightly to 83.1%, with a 21.6% increase in capacity offset by a 22.1% rise in sales.
The group points out that in 2018 Eurowings carried around 38.5 million passengers, 18% more than in 2017, its load factor during they year being 81.3%, which is 1.4 percentage points higher than in the previous year.