Lufthansa Group saw air passenger numbers in the first quarter more than quadruple compared to the same period in 2021, leading the company to increase capacity towards the end of the quarter, Lufthansa said in an earnings report. of the first quarter on Thursday.
Passenger numbers increased to more than 13 million in the quarter from around 3 million a year ago. Capacity increased by 171% year-on-year to reach a recovery level of 57% compared to “pre-crisis level”, at more than 45.6 million available seat-kilometres. Lufthansa said its number of flights in the first quarter rose 230% year-on-year to more than 135,500.
“Restrictions on air traffic have been largely overcome,” Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said in a statement. “The last few weeks in particular have clearly shown how much people want to travel. New bookings are increasing week on week, among business travelers, but especially for holiday and leisure travel.”
The company expects the airline group’s business travel volume by the end of the year to recover to around 70% of its pre-crisis level. Overall, destinations in the United States, South America and the Mediterranean are particularly in demand.
First-quarter revenue more than doubled year-on-year to €5.4 billion ($5.7 billion), of which €3.8 billion ($4 billion) was passenger revenue, up nearly 150% from first quarter 2021 levels. Still, the company reported a net loss of 584 million euros ($614 million), or about 44% of the loss reported a year before.
The company’s operating expenses increased in the quarter due to higher fuel expenses, which increased 259% year-on-year to 987 million euros (1.04 billion), operating personnel costs and other factors. These increases could result in higher ticket prices.
“We need to pass on the rising costs to customers,” said Lufthansa chief financial officer Remco Steenbergen.
Lufthansa expects second-quarter capacity to be around 75% of pre-pandemic levels. For the full year, the company expects average passenger capacity to be around 75% of 2019 levels. During the summer season, the company will offer around 95% of pre-pandemic capacity on short-haul routes European and about 85% on transatlantic routes.
Lufthansa results in the fourth quarter of 2021