Luxair reveals slump in take-up of business fares

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Luxembourg's flag-carrier, Luxair, has disclosed that the proportion of high-yield fares issued by the airline fell to 24% in fiscal 2009, compared with 37% two years previously.

It revealed the extent of the business-travel slump as parent LuxairGroup posted an operating loss of €7.1 million ($8.9 million) for the full fiscal year 2009, down from a previous €1.55 million profit.

Turnover for the company fell by 8.1% to €383 million, but it still managed to post a net profit - albeit heavily reduced - of €1.3 million.

Its outlook for this year remains pessimistic. "The faint upturn in demand that was registered at the beginning of 2010 unfortunately leaves little hope for a regular result for [this year]," it says.

LuxairGroup chief Adrien Ney says that the company saved over €17 million through the cost-control programme 'Focus 2009', introduced in late 2008. But it has still suffered "daunting regressions in business and revenue".

"We registered some stabilisation, and even a slight climb in early 2010, but this won't be able to bring us back to pre-crisis levels yet," he says.

In addition to the main passenger airline, LuxairGroup includes travel company LuxairTours, freight firm LuxairCargo, and airport support arm LuxairServices.