The Lufthansa Group is continuing its ascent in terms of passenger numbers. Overall, around 80 million passengers decided to fly with Lufthansa, Germanwings, Swiss or Austrian Airlines between January and September, an increase of 0.6 per cent compared with last year. In the first nine months of the year, the Lufthansa Group reported the highest growth in passenger numbers in the Americas traffic region and in Europe. At the same time, the number of flights operated by the Group in this period fell by four per cent. The Lufthansa Group increased sales (in revenue seat-kilometres) in the passenger business by 2.1 per cent and capacity (in available seat-kilometres) by 0.8 per cent. This boosted the load factor for passenger aircraft by one percentage point to 80.3 per cent (previous year: 79.3 per cent). The main reasons for the higher load factor included the more flexible management of capacity and sales as well as the use of larger, new aircraft as part of the ongoing fleet modernisation. Following orders for 167 new aircraft in this year alone, the Group’s order list now contains a total of 295 planes for delivery between 2013 and 2025.
Among the Group’s passenger airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, which also includes Germanwings and Lufthansa Regional, reported the steepest rise in passenger numbers in the first nine months of the year (+1.0 per cent) – not least due to passengers’ positive response to the new offering from Germanwings, which since July has assumed responsibility from Lufthansa for serving European routes outside the hubs in Frankfurt and Munich. Lufthansa expanded its capacity by 1.1 per cent, while sales were up 2.3 per cent. A total of 58.1 million passengers flew with Lufthansa and Germanwings in the year to September. The Company increased its load factor by one percentage point to 79.6 per cent. Lufthansa recorded the highest growth rates in passenger numbers and sales in the Europe and Americas traffic regions. In Europe, the number of passengers rose by 0.8 per cent, sales were up by 2.1 per cent and the load factor improved by 2.2 percentage points. Six per cent more passengers flew to and from America, Group sales climbed by 6.6 per cent and the load factor was 0.3 percentage points higher than last year.
Swiss improved its passenger load factor in the period from January to September by 1.1 percentage points to 84.0 per cent. The company carried 13 million passengers, an increase of 0.7 per cent. Austrian Airlines also boosted the load factor of its aircraft by 1.1 percentage points to 78.8 per cent, carrying a total of 8.6 million passengers, 1.8 per cent fewer than last year.