With capacities flexibly tailored to demand, the Lufthansa Group is filling its aircraft better than ever before. The passenger load factor in August averaged 86.4 per cent, an all-time high for aircraft utilization in a single month in the passenger business. Passenger aircraft utlization in the Group was also up cumulatively in the first three quarters to a record 80.6 per cent, an increase of 0.3 percentage points compared with the same period in the previous year. In the first nine months, the Lufthansa Group increased capacities, measured in seat-kilometres, by 2.2 per cent on the year-earlier level. Sales, measured in revenue seat-kilometres, rose in contrast by 2.6 per cent during the nine-month term.
Lufthansa, Germanwings, SWISS und Austrian Airlines carried a total of 81.2 million passengers in the term, more than ever before in the January-September period of a year. The total was achieved despite operating 2.2 per cent fewer flights year-on-year. The increase in the passenger count is attributable especially to the deployment of larger aircraft ensuing from the Group’s ongoing fleet renewal programme.
Lufthansa including Germanwings and Lufthansa Regional flew 59.3 million passengers to their destination in the first nine months, up by 2.1 per cent on the prior-year term, despite repeated strikes by the VC pilots‘ union and the forced cancellation of more than 4,200 flights. Whereas capacity in the period increased by 1.9 per cent, revenues were up by an even better 2.5 per cent. Aircraft utilization rose accordingly by 0.4 percentage points to a notable 80 per cent.
SWISS carried a total of 13.2 million passengers in the first three quarters, an increase of 0.9 per cent on the previous year. The airline raised capacity in the term by 2.0 per cent, while revenues rose by 1.5 per cent. The passenger load factor at the end of the third quarter lay at a high 83.7 per cent, which is close to the level the airline posted in the previous year.
Austrian Airlines flew 8.7 million passengers in the period from January to September, an increase of 0.6 per cent on the same term last time round. While the Austrian carrier’s capacity was up by 4.6 per cent, its revenues rose overproportionately by 5.9 per cent. The passenger load factor increased accordingly by one percentage point to 79.8 per cent.
Thanks to successful capacity management, Lufthansa Cargo turned in a stable cargo load factor of 69.1 per cent (-0.2 percentage points) in a challenging market environment. The cargo carrier in the Group reduced capacity in the first nine months by 1.1 per cent, while revenues in the term fell by 1.5 per cent. Overall in the January to September period, Lufthansa Cargo transported 1,227,000 tonnes of freight and mail, a year-on-year minus of 3.2 per cent.