The problem of empty seats persists at Luxair

OAG data shows that there are more vacancies on Luxair planes than those of other European airlines, which could explain why the Luxembourg carrier continues to struggle.

State-owned airline Luxair occupied around three-quarters of the available seats on its flights over the last summer holidays, while other European airlines were operating at almost 90%.

The data obtained from OAG through the retrieved data Luxembourg time points to an ongoing problem of unsold seats on Luxair routes. Compared to other airlines, Luxair sold fewer seats every month until June 2021 except once.

Airlines are aiming to fill around 80% of their seats to spread fixed costs across more passengers, but Luxair’s planes were only at 69% capacity in 2021, according to the company.

But despite the precarious situation, Luxembourg cannot afford to lose Luxair, as the airline enables business people in the country’s important financial sector to travel quickly to London, Geneva or Milan and to hubs such as Frankfurt for other international destinations.

Luxair carried 20% fewer passengers through August than before the 2019 pandemic, the airline said Luxembourg time. The airline’s CEO, Gilles Feith, has forecast Luxair’s operating loss at around €5 million this year.

Luxembourg has not subsidized the airline despite losses in 2020 and 2021, thanks to almost 100 million euros in dividends Luxair received from Cargolux, which enjoyed two years of record profits.

The latest confidential data made available to unions shows that Luxair has now reached pre-Covid levels of activity. During the summer season there were more flights than before and seats were almost always full. However, the OAG data shows only a few exceptions to better occupied Luxair flights, such as B. those between Luxembourg and Porto, which had a occupancy rate of more than 80% between May and August.

Flights between Luxembourg and Paris, where travelers can board other planes to destinations around the world, have not hit even a 40% load factor in any month, according to the data. But as of this spring, the route has generated about as much revenue per kilometer flown as flights to Munich, which have never been less than half and sometimes more than two-thirds full, OAG data shows.

And while Luxair flights to and from Milan are still more popular than flights to London – another key destination for business travelers – the British capital has consistently generated more revenue since late last year. The fact that higher fares are applied could probably explain the increase in revenue on the London-Luxembourg route.

Luxair is struggling to resume travel on its traditional business routes, including the London City route, as virtual meetings have dwindled during the Covid-19 pandemic. This forced the airline to operate loss-making flights to maintain its lucrative slots, costing it at least a million euros.

Around 54% of Luxair Group’s revenue last year came from the operation of LuxairTours, and tourists on package holidays to Cape Verde, Egypt and other sunny destinations almost always travel on Luxair aircraft.

source: The Luxembourg Times by Luxemburger Wort

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