The weak global economy and the aftermath of the terrorist attacks continued to have an adverse effect on the traffic results of the Lufthansa Group in 2002. However, by optimising its route network, the company succeeded in improving the capacity utilisation of its aircraft compared to the previous year.
From January to December the Lufthansa Group airlines carried 44 million passengers, 3.8 per cent fewer than in 2001. In the first nine months of 2002 the passenger count declined by 7.7 per cent. While available capacity was 5.2 per cent below the prior-year level, sales were only 2.0 per cent down. As a result, the passenger load factor rose by 2.4 per cent to a gratifying 73.9 per cent, only marginally behind the seat occupancy rate of 74.4 per cent achieved two years earlier, in 2000.
The weak economic climate hit Lufthansa`s cargo business hardest in the fourth quarter. Last year Lufthansa Cargo transported 1.9 per cent less freight and mail, but at 66.6 per cent the cargo load factor outstripped the prior-year figure by 3.8 percentage points.
In 2002 the Lufthansa Group raised its overall load factor (passenger and freight business) to 70.7 per cent, which represents an increase of 3.1 percentage points.
The Lufthansa Group results for the year 2002 will be published on 20 March 2003. On that date the Annual Report will also be available for downloading from the Internet at www.lufthansa-financials.com in German and English.