German airline Lufthansa said on Wednesday that its passenger numbers had risen in the first nine months of this year as a result of higher demand on routes to all regions except Europe. Lufthansa said in a statement that a total 38.82 million people had traveled on its aircraft in the period from January to September, an increase of 0.5 percent over the year-earlier period. In September alone, passenger numbers rose by 0.8 percent to 4.861 million. Lufthansa said that capacity utilization also improved both in September and in the first nine months. The so-called seat-load factor, a key measure or profitability, rose by 1.1 percentage points to 79.0 percent last month, bringing the figure for January to September up by 1.5 percentage points to 75.8 percent. In the first nine months, passenger traffic was up on all routes except Europe. In Europe, the number of passengers slipped by 0.4 percent to 29.836 million.