Lufthansa upward trend stabilises
Passenger numbers rise again for the first time in two years.
Lufthansa maintained its position in 2003 in a persistently difficult operating environment. The market revival is a good starting point for 2004. Despite the continuing weak global economy, the effects of the SARS outbreak and the consequences of the Iraq war, Lufthansa recorded a rise in passenger numbers in 2003 for the first time in two years. Thanks to flexible capacity management, it achieved a passenger load factor of 73.3 per cent, almost on a par with the good level of capacity utilisation in the prior year.
From January to December 2003, the Lufthansa Group airlines carried 44.4 million passengers, an increase of 1.0 per cent on the previous year. Available capacity was 2.4 per cent up on 2003, while sales climbed 1.6 per cent year-on-year.
Due to the sluggish economy, Lufthansa Cargo transported about 1.6 million tonnes of freight and mail in 2003, a drop of 2.7 per cent compared to the previous year. However, at 65.6 per cent, the cargo load factor was only one percentage point below the prior-year level.
In 2003 the Lufthansa Group achieved an overall load factor (passenger business and cargo) of 69.9 per cent, only marginally short of the prior-year figure of 70.7 per cent.