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Image: Lufthansa Group

Lufthansa Group smashes more records

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.

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