Lufthansa Group: good first half and strong demand for the rest of the year

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Lufthansa Group announced a significant increase in Number of passengers on all its airlines first semester 2023while expecting strong travel demand to continue for the rest of the year, especially for premium classes.

Between January and June 2023, Lufthansa, Eurowings, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and SWISS hosted more than 55 million travelers on board, an increase of 30% compared to the same period in 2022 (compared to 42.4 million the previous year). In the second quarter alone, 33.3 million passengers traveled with Lufthansa Group airlines (compared to 29.2 million the previous year). This corresponds to 84% of the level of passenger traffic in 2019.

The airlines of the German group steadily increased the capacity offered during the first half of the year. For the first six months, it was 19% higher than the same period last year, but still 21% lower than 2019 pre-Covid levels. For the second quarter alone, capacity offered was 83% of the pre-pandemic year. “Capacity was also planned cautiously due to bottlenecks, particularly with airport handling service providers and air traffic control“, explained Lufthansa Group in its press release. With an 83% load factor, flights were as busy in the second quarter as they were before the pandemic (also 83% in 2019).

For the second half of 2023, bookings for the August-December period averaged more than 90% of pre-pandemic levels, prompting the German airline group to continue increasing capacity until 88% of pre-crisis levels during the third quarter. Also, Group CEO Carsten Spohr confirmed that two more A380s will return to service this year with more to follow, along with new Boeing 787s and Airbus A350s over the coming year.

Cargo and MRO

Despite weaker demand for airfreight in the second quarter, Lufthansa Cargo’s average yields remained 40% higher than the pre-Covid level, meaning that Lufthansa Cargo again outperformed the overall market. Cargo capacity in the second quarter increased by 6% compared to the previous year, mainly due to the resumption of passenger flight operations and the related expansion of cargo compartment capacities.

As for Lufthansa Technik, the group’s MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operations) subsidiary, it continued to show a very positive commercial performance in the second quarter of 2023. The MRO segment benefited from the still high demand for air travel on the market, which has been accompanied by a further increase in demand from airline customers for maintenance and repair services.

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