Lufthansa slightly increases passenger numbers in September 2019
Lufthansa has announced its latest traffic results, including figures for its two mainline subsidiaries and the low-cost carrier, Eurowings. While the three network airlines, namely Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines and Lufthansa, foresaw great results, Eurowings is showcasing worrying trends as the calm flight season of fall begins.
In total, Lufthansa Group saw an increase (2.3%) in passenger traffic compared to September 2018, transferring 13.9 million passengers on 107,357 flights (up by 1.9%). Available seat-kilometers also increased by 2.2%, while sales were up by 2.4%. However, passenger load-factors hit a slight bump and decreased by 0.6pts, to 81.2%. Seemingly, Lufthansa’s cargo operations are following global trends, as capacity increased by 4.1%, yet Revenue Cargo tonne-kilometers fell by 3.6%, as Load Factors in cargo holds decreased to 59.3% (down by 4.7%) compared to September 2018.
Year-to-date results are also up, as the German airline group foresaw 3.1% more passengers, compared to the same period of 2018, including rising capacity (3.8%) and demand (4.7%) throughout the period of nine months.
Out of its hubs, Zurich showed the biggest signs of growth for the fourth month in a row, with an increase of 6.8% in total passenger numbers passing through Zurich Airport (ZRH). Lufthansa’s presence in Frankfurt Airport (FRA), though, has remained flat for the third consecutive month. In September 2019, operations in Frankfurt stagnated, as the passenger traffic of 4 million is the same as in September 2018. Previous to this, Lufthansa group traffic in Frankfurt decreased by 0.9% in August 2019, while in July 2019, the number went down by 0.4%.
In addition, Eurowings, which has been shifting to provide more low-cost travel within Europe and is slowly shifting away from operating long-haul flights, is showing some worrying signs. As the busiest travel months in Europe fade to the colors of fall, Eurowings’ capacity and demand on its short-haul routes decreased by 0.4% and 0.6%, respectively. Meanwhile, the biggest competitor of the German low-cost carrier, Ryanair, has increased its passenger numbers in September by 8%.
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