The Lufthansa Group’s airlines boosted the number of passengers they carried by 8.1 per cent in the first nine months of the year.
This means that 80.7 million passengers chose to fly with Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, bmi or Germanwings. The Group increased its capacity by 10.6 per cent and its revenue seat kilometres by 7.9 per cent in the first three quarters of the year. The average passenger load factor per aircraft correspondingly fell by 1.9 percentage points to 77.7 per cent.
While traffic figures for the Group developed positively overall in the first three quarters of 2011, the growth in sales tailed off in comparison with the start of the year. Based on this development and on the ongoing economic uncertainties, Lufthansa Passenger Airlines announced at the end of September that it would be making use of its operational flexibility in the upcoming winter flight timetable, lowering the increase in its available seat kilometres from its previously planned level to four per cent. Overall, in the first nine months of the year Lufthansa Passenger Airlines improved its traffic figures above all in the Europe traffic region.
This can be attributed to the utilisation of larger aircraft and the launch of the new Europa cabin on short-haul routes. In all, 49.4 million passengers flew with Lufthansa Passenger Airlines, which equates to a year-on-year increase of 12.1 per cent. Lufthansa expanded its capacity by 13 per cent in the first nine months, while sales were up 10 per cent. The load factor was 2.1 percentage points down year on year, at 77.8 per cent. In the first nine months of 2011, SWISS carried approximately 12.4 million passengers, at Austrian Airlines passenger numbers came to 8.6 million, around 4.5 million passengers chose to fly with bmi, and Germanwings had approximately 5.8 million passengers.
Lufthansa Cargo recorded growth of 8.4 per cent in its tonne-kilometres transported in the first nine months of the year and transported a total of 1.4 million tonnes of freight and mail. During this period, its capacity climbed by 12.3 per cent and its sales rose by 9.5 per cent. The load factor dropped by a marginal 1.8 percentage points to 69.3 per cent.