European carriers report rebound in May traffic 

In May, European-based carriers Air-France-KLM, International Airlines Group and Lufthansa Cargo Group reported year-over-year increases in their monthly traffic results. Carrier traffic performance this month shows a slight recovery from the declines these carriers reported in earlier months. 

Air France-KLM’s May traffic rose 4.3% y-o-y across the group to 731 million FTKs. Both Air France and KLM contributed to this growth with increases in May traffic of 7.9% and 1.7%, respectively. Across the group, carriers reported a year-to-date traffic increase of 1.8%, to almost 3.5 billion FTKs.    

International Airlines Groupreported a slight 0.4% y-o-y increase in May cargo traffic, to 477 million RTKs. Regarding the Group’s subsidiary carriers, traffic declined on British Airways by 1.3% in May while Iberia and Aer Lingus traffic increased by 6.7% and 7.7%, respectively, for the month. For the first five months of 2019, traffic is up 1.2% to 2.3 billion RTKs.  

Lufthansa Cargo Group airlines reported May traffic increased 2.5% y-o-y to 930 million FTKs. From a regional perspective, traffic in the Asia-Pacific declined by 3.2% y-o-y. Meanwhile, traffic was up slightly in Europe, the Americas and the Middle East/Africa regions. Year-to-date, traffic is down 2.1% y-o-y to approximately 4.3 billion FTKs across Lufthansa Group Airlines. 

Air France-KLM launched its ebooking and dynamic pricing in May, which may have contributed to the carrier’s increase in volumes this month. Meanwhile, after reporting weak Q1 results, in an April statement Lufthansa Group said it anticipated a recovery in its unit revenues for Q2. According to the carrier, its first quarter revenues were depressed by overcapacities, especially on short and medium haul European routes, but booking levels were more favorable for Q2 months. 

So, although year-to-date volumes are still weak compared to the same period the year prior, likely due in part to the continued Brexit issue and global economic uncertainty, the return in growth of carriers’ volumes this month could indicate better potential for the year to come. 

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