Lufthansa passenger numbers down in January

Lufthansa, Germany's number one airline, said Friday that its passenger numbers were down in January as the carrier cut back capacity.

Lufthansa said in a statement it carried 6.824 million passengers in January, 3.6 percent fewer than during the same month last year.

At the same time, the airline cut back capacity by 4.1 percent so that the so-called seat-load factor, which measures the number of seats filled on flights, increased by 0.9 percentage point to 74.6 percent, the statement said.

Lufthansa -- which also owns Austrian Airlines and SWISS -- said the number of passengers on Lufthansa-only flights fell by 4.8 percent to 4.854 million last month.

Austrian Airlines passengers decreased by 2.3 percent to 723,000, but the number of passengers flying with SWISS edged up by 0.2 percent to 1.246 million.

The volume of freight transported by its Lufthansa Cargo unit slid by 8.3 percent to 115,000 tonnes last month, the statement added.

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