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Lufthansa traffic rises as A380 takes off for China: airline

by Staff Writers
Frankfurt (AFP) Sept 9, 2010
The leading German airline, Lufthansa, said Thursday that passenger traffic was up by 9.2 percent in August, that it had begun flying an Airbus A380 to Beijing and would soon fly one to Johannesburg.

Freight operations had benefitted from a pick-up in global trade meanwhile, the airline said in a statement.

The number of Lufthansa passengers climbed to 5.4 million last month, while the number of those transported by the entire Lufthansa group gained 20 percent to 8.5 million people, the statement said.

On a comparable basis that does not include traffic with Austrian Airlines and BMI, two carriers that Lufthansa has fully integrated since last year, the number of passengers gained 3.3 percent.

The group's seat-load factor, which measures how full its airplanes are, remained at a relatively high 83.2 percent, while Lufthansa planes flew at 82.9 percent capacity owing to strong demand during the German summer holiday.

On September 1, Lufthansa launched once-a-week service from Frankfurt to Beijing with an Airbus A380, which can seat 526 people in the configuration chosen by the German airline.

From September 12 it will also fly an A380 to Johannesburg twice a week.

Stronger global trade with North and Latin America has boosted activity at Lufthansa Cargo, which carried 155,000 tonnes of freight in August, an increase of 17.9 percent from the same month a year earlier, the statement said.

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