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Business

Lufthansa passenger numbers up despite ash cloud

German flag carrier Lufthansa has seen a rise in passenger numbers so far in 2010. And this despite a turbulent six months, with disruptions caused by industrial action - and a volcano.

Lufthansa plane in the air

Lufthansa's passenger numbers are flying high

Germany's biggest airline, Lufthansa, says its passenger numbers have risen in the first half of 2010, even though it was adversely affected by April's volcanic ash cloud and a strike.

The airline says it carried around 27.2 million travelers on board its planes from January to June. That represents an increase of 1.8 percent compared with the same period in 2009.

For June, passenger numbers were up by 11.6 percent in comparison with the same month a year ago.

And the whole Lufthansa group, which also includes Swiss International Airlines, Austrian Airlines and Britain's BMI, seems to be experiencing strong tailwinds: it carried nearly 41.8 million passengers in the first six months of the year, a rise of more than a quarter.

As another indicator of the company's good performance, Lufthansa's seat load factor - a measure of how full planes are - improved by 2.7 percent to 77.8 percent.

Like most airlines, Lufthansa was badly affected by the ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano in April. It also lost an estimated 48 million euros ($60.7 million) through a one-day strike in February.

Author: Timothy Jones (AP/AFP/dpa)
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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