Lufthansa passenger numbers stable in first quarter

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Lufthansa Group’s passenger numbers increased 0.5% to 21.7 million during the first quarter.

Capacity was increased 0.4%, but strikes by German airport staff in March hit traffic, which declined 0.3%.

Use of larger narrowbodies meant capacity growth was stronger in the short-haul segment than in long-haul arena, the group says. The number of flights was meanwhile reduced 1.2%.

Passenger numbers at Lufthansa and its low-cost arm Germanwings grew 1.5% to 15.8 million. While capacity was flat, the average load factor fell 0.7 percentage points to 74.8%, with traffic declining 0.9%.

Swiss International Air Lines’ passenger volume shrank 2.1% to 3.7 million, but capacity was increased 2.1% and traffic grew 1.3%. Load factor stood at 79.1%, 0.7 percentage points higher than last year.

Austrian Airlines’ number of travellers fell 2.3% to 2.2 million. Capacity grew 0.4% – with load factor rising 0.2 percentage points to 74.2% – as traffic increased 0.7%.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa Cargo’s freight volume declined 0.3% to 399,000t. Capacity was increased 1.6%, but traffic rose 2.3%. Load factor improved 0.4 percentage points to 72%.