Loss-making Luxair to cut routes and sell two ERJs

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Luxair is putting two of its Embraer ERJ-135s on the market after axing services to Prague and Dublin, and pulling a stationed aircraft out of Saarbrucken.

The airline is making the changes in a bid to stem losses, said the carrier's parent group. It added that there would be no job losses although it would reduce the number of time contracts during strong activity periods.

Luxair Group's operating earnings for 2010 reached €1.8 million, against a loss of more than €7 million the previous year, while turnover rose 6.8% to €408 million.

But the company said its airline operations are still loss-making despite a 6.4% rise in passenger numbers and an increase in load factor to 60.5%.

The proportion of passengers flying business class continued to fall, to 22% last year. Per-unit income dropped by 4%, and the airline turned in an operating loss of €11.1 million.

"Without a reaction, Luxair will have to face growing losses that will severely affect the results of the whole group," said the company.

It will cut its Prague and Dublin routes and pull an aircraft out of Saarbrucken, although it will continue to serve the city. The freed ERJ-135s will be put up for sale.

Luxair Group's tour operator posted "good" figures in 2010, said the company, while its cargo handling unit was profitable.