Airlines across Europe have been revealing the total number of passengers they flew in 2018 and the figures in so far show Lufthansa Group carried the most in Europe.
The Lufthansa Group is made up of Lufthansa, SWISS, Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines and Eurowings and they combined welcomed 142 million people on board. Between them they operated more than 1.2 million flights with an average seat load factor of 81.4 per cent.
Lufthansa carried just over 70 million (+6.5 per cent), SWISS 20.4 million (+9.5 per cent), Austrian Airlines 13.9 million (+8.5 per cent), and Eurowings and Brussels Airlines combined 38.4 million (+18 per cent).
Ryanair and its Austrian subsidiary Laudamotion together flew 139.2 million passengers – eight per cent more than 2017. However, this was slower growth than 2017’s 10 per cent and the 17 per cent gain registered in 2016. Ryanair flew more passengers than any other single airline in Europe last year.
In 2018, the International Airlines Group (IAG) carried almost 113 million passengers, which is over eight million more than in 2017. This includes passengers on British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling and Level.
The total number of passengers carried on Air France, KLM, HOP! and Transavia increased by 2.8 per cent in 2018 compared to the previous year as the group carried 101.4 million passengers in 2018, compared to 98.7 million in 2017.
Air France and HOP! alone carried 51.4 million passengers in 2018, an increase of 0.4 per cent compared to 2017, and KLM 34.2 million passengers in 2018, up 4.5 per cent compared to the previous year.
Transavia posted the largest increase in traffic in 2018, up +7.1% compared to 2017: the group’s low-cost airline carried 15.8 million passengers in 2018, more than one million more than the previous year.
Other notable movers are Central and Eastern European low-cost carrier Wizz Air which flew 33.8 million passengers last year – 19.6 per cent more than the previous year.
Norwegian has also reported its highest ever passenger figures in a single year with more than 37 million passengers and a load factor of 86 per cent in 2018.