The persistently weak global economy, the Iraq war and the spreading respiratory disease SARS had a significant impact on the traffic results of the Lufthansa Group in the first quarter of 2003. This resulted in lower load factors for passenger and cargo traffic in all the traffic regions.
From January to March of this year the Group airlines carried 10.4 million passengers, 7.6 per cent more than in the first quarter of 2002. Although available capacity was 10.9 per cent higher than in March 2002, sales only increased by 7.2 per cent year-on-year. As a result, the passenger load factor dropped 2.4 percentage points to 70.5 per cent.
Lufthansa`s cargo business continued to be particularly affected by the economic downturn. In the first quarter of 2003 Lufthansa Cargo transported 2.8 per cent less freight and mail than in the comparable period last year, with the result that the cargo load factor declined by 2.9 percentage points to 65.5 per cent.
The Lufthansa Group achieved an overall load factor (passengers and cargo) of 68.3 per cent, which represents a decline of 2.7 percentage points.
The Lufthansa Group will publish its financial result for the first quarter of 2003 on 14 May. On that date the quarterly report will also be available for downloading from the Internet at www.lufthansa-financials.com in German and English.