- 130m passengers in 2017 to regains European lead
- 3m passengers in December up 19.9pc
- Point-to-point traffic drives growth
- Seat load factor up 1.1pc to 78.9pc
- Currency adjusted yield indication positive
Year end passenger numbers released by Lufthansa mean that it has overtaken Ryanair as Europe’s largest airline it lost to Ryanair last year.
The five airline Lufthansa group carried 130m passengers, ahead of Ryanair (128.77m), Aer LIngus owners IAG (104.83m), Air France KLM (98.72m) and Easyjet (81.83m).
Lufthansa airlines carried 9.3m passengers up 19.9pc as Ryanair’s growth slowed top 3pc as it cancelled 20,000 flights.
“Next year, as we grow to 140m passengers, we expect to overtake Lufthansa again, unless they acquire some other airline to boost their figures,” Ryanair said in a statement.
Lufthansa took over Brussels Airlines at the end of 2016 and is aiming to grow its budget brand Eurowings to become Europe’s third largest point-to-point carrier. It also benefited from the collapse of German rival Air Berlin in October.
The available seat kilometers were up 14.2pc over the previous year, at the same time, sales increased by 15.9pc. The seat load factor improved accordingly, rising 1.1 percentage points compared to December 2016 to 78.9pc. In total, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group welcomed around 130m passengers on board their aircraft in 2017 and set with this number a new passenger record. The seat load factor on the 1.1m flights last year remained on a record course of 80.9 percent.
The currency adjusted yield indication continuous to develop positively in December.
Cargo capacity increased 6.6pc year-on-year, while cargo sales were up 5.8pc in revenue ton-kilometer terms. As a result, the Cargo load factor decreased 0.5 percentage points in December. Overall, the cargo capacity in 2017 was 3.3pc higher than in the previous year. At the same time, cargo sales in this period increased by 7.4pc, resulting in a load factor of 2.7 higher percentage points than in 2016.
The Network Airlines Lufthansa German Airlines, SWISS and Austrian Airlines carried 7m passengers in December, 7.4pc more than in the prior-year period. Compared to the previous year, the available seat kilometers increased by 4.5pc in December. The sales volume was up 5.8pc over the same period, raising seat load factor by 1 percentage points to 78.7pc. In 2017, the Network Airlines carried 97.4m passengers and therefore 6.8pc more than in the previous year. During this period, the seat load factor for Network Airlines increased by 2.1 percentage points to 81.1pc.
Lufthansa German Airlines transported 4.7m passengers in December, a 7.3pc increase compared to the same month last year. A 4.2pc increase in seat kilometers in December corresponds to a 5.1pc increase in sales. Furthermore, the seat load factor was up to 79.2pc, therefore 0.7 percentage points above the prior-year’s level. In 2017, Lufthansa German Airlines carried 66.2m passengers, 6.1pc more than in the previous year. At 81.6pc, the seat load factor was 2.5 percentage points higher than in 2016.
The Lufthansa Group’s Point-to-Point Airlines – Eurowings (including Germanwings) and Brussels Airlines – carried around 2.4m passengers in December. Among this total, 2.1m passengers were on short-haul flights and 251,000 flew long-haul. This amounts to an increase of 80.3pc in comparison to the previous year. December capacity was 107.2pc above its prior-year level, while its sales volume was up 113pc, resulting in an increased seat load factor by 2.2 percentage points of 79.4pc.
On short-haul services the Point-to-Point Airlines raised capacity 77.7pc and increased sales volume by 90.1pc, resulting in a 5.0 percentage points increase in seat load factor of 77.0pc, compared to December 2016. The seat load factor for the long-haul services decreased 5.7 percentage points to 82.7pc during the same period, following a 170.1pc increase in capacity and a 152.8pc rise in sales volume, compared to the previous year.
The Point-to-Point Airlines carried a total of 32.6m passengers in 2017, 77.0pc more than in the previous year. At 79.9pc, the seat load factor was 0.3 percentage points higher than in 2016
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