In early April, the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union in Germany went on strike, protesting new policies in the airlines within the Lufthansa Group, and grounding an estimated 3,800 Lufthansa flights. Today, it seems that the three-day strike (April 2-4) had an adverse effect on the company's numbers.
The airlines in the Lufthansa Group carried a total of 8.6 million passengers in April, 0.6 percent fewer than in the same period last year. Group-wide, the number of flights was 6.1 percent lower than last year, which can be at least partially credited to the use of larger aircraft. In April, an average of 79.5 percent of seats on passenger planes were booked. This represents a year-on-year improvement in the load factor of 1.3 percentage points. Capacity (measured in available seat-kilometers) was 1.2 percent down on last year’s figure, while sales (measured in revenue seat-kilometers) rose only slightly on last year, by 0.4 percent.
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As a result, the number of passengers carried by Lufthansa and Germanwings in April fell by 2.7 percent year on year to a total of 6.1 million passengers. The average load factor for the two airlines was 1.1 percentage points higher, reaching 78.1 percent. The available capacity (seat-kilometers available for sale) of Lufthansa and Germanwings decreased in April by 3.5 percent; sales went down by 2.1 percent. The decline in capacity and sale resulted mainly from the strike activities. In April, 1.5 million passengers flew with SWISS, which was 3.0 percent more than in the same period last year. The passenger load factor came to 84.4 percent (-0.1 percentage points). Austrian Airlines carried 1.0 million passengers, 8.3 percent more than the year before. The load factor at Austrian Airlines climbed by 4.3 percentage points to 80.7 percent.