Rising premium leisure travel sees Lufthansa achieve record summer

Increased premium leisure travel helped steer Lufthansa Group to a record summer with a positive booking outlook going forward.

The German group’s airlines flew more 38 million passengers in the July to September period, up by five million year-on-year.

With demand being strong in all regions, the company recorded a further internationalisation of its customer base with almost three quarters of passengers starting their journey outside Germany.

Reporting a 91% improvement in adjusted earnings for its passenger airlines to €1.4 billion for the summer quarter, the group expects to raise capacity to around 91% of pre-pandemic levels in by the end of the year, increasing to 95% in 2024 as 30 new aircraft join the fleet.

Total revenues increased 8% year-on-year from to hit €10.3 billion – making the three months Lufthansa’s strongest quarter in its history in revenue terms.

Lufthansa expects demand for air travel to remain strong in the coming months. 

“The very good summer demand has extended into October, and demand for air travel during the Christmas season is strong,” the company said. 

“Demand for both short-haul and long-haul flights remains high, especially among leisure travellers. In this context, the trend toward more bookings in premium classes, meaning business class or first class, continues.”

Bookings for the fourth quarter are currently up by double digits in percentage terms compared to the previous year, even though private travel seasonally accounts for a lower share of traffic than in the summer months. 

“More than 80% of the passengers the company expects to carry on board its aircraft in the fourth quarter have already booked their flight or have already flown with the group’s airlines in October,” Lufthansa added, suggesting an extension of the traditional summer flying season.

Chief executive Carsten Spohr hailed the highest revenue and profit ever achieved in one summer.

He added: “It is paying off for all of us that we have combined our successful multi-airline and multi-hub strategy with strengthening the private travel segment, setting the right strategic course. 

“We have also made significant improvements in operational stability and regularity despite continued challenging conditions. 

“This trend is the basis for meeting our premium and quality standards and those of our customers even more effectively in the future again. 

“Even though the geopolitical situation remains challenging, our booking outlook gives us reason to be positive – not only for a very good group result this year, but also beyond.”

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