Lufthansa’s Sao Paulo – Frankfurt; seat load factor of ~88%, but to where do they connect?

Lufthansa’s Sao Paulo – Frankfurt; seat load factor of ~88%, but where do they connect

Lufthansa was the eighth-largest operator between Europe and South America last year, with just under one million two-way seats.  It was behind Avianca but ahead of Alitalia. 

Unsurprisingly, Iberia and TAP Air Portugal were by far the largest operators given their colonial heritage in South America. (If ASKs are examined, Iberia is first but TAP sixth, KLM beating it to the number-two spot from longer distances.)

Yet the continent had just 1.1% of Lufthansa’s total seats, the lowest percentage of the top-10 airlines and well under the average of 4.8% for those in this category. 

Lufthansa’s Sao Paulo – Frankfurt; seat load factor of ~88%, but where do they connect

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

Only 1.1% of Lufthansa’s seats were deployed to/from South America

Lufthansa’s low percentage is because of its significant short-haul network and that this percentage relates to the carrier’s total seats.

Excluding its European network, Lufthansa’s South American seat capacity amounted to 4.7% of its non-European network.  Still reasonably insignificant.

It is also because the carrier’s South American capacity is down from highs of 1.2 to 1.3 million seats in the preceding few years.

This decline was from it ending both Caracas following Venezuela’s economic and currency problems that cut up to 246,000 seats and Munich – Sao Paulo that had up to 210,000 seats (although this route returns this October).

Lufthansa’s Sao Paulo – Frankfurt; seat load factor of ~88%, but where do they connect (2)

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

Sao Paulo – Frankfurt overview

Brazil remains Lufthansa’s top country in South America with about 54% of its capacity deployed there, OAG Schedules data shows.

Frankfurt – Rio de Janeiro was Lufthansa’s top route to South America last year, when it had just 0.52% (!) more seats than Frankfurt – Sao Paulo. 

Lufthansa offered just under 265,000 seats between Frankfurt and Sao Paulo last year, flat for years. 

The carrier ordinarily operates the route once-daily using the B747-8, as it has since 2015, with nearly 17.5 hours on the ground in Brazil for connections over Frankfurt.

Despite coronavirus, Lufthansa is still operating Frankfurt – Sao Paulo, albeit on a five-times-weekly and slightly retimed basis.

Lufthansa’s Sao Paulo – Frankfurt; seat load factor of ~88%, but where do they connect?

Lufthansa’s South American network. Note: Munich – Sao Paulo resumes this October. Source: OAG Mapper.

An estimated 88% SLF, but with just ~11% local passengers

Lufthansa carried an estimated 233,000 total passengers between Frankfurt and Sao Paulo last year, OAG Traffic Analyser indicates. 

With almost 265,000 seats, the airline achieved an approximate seat load factor of 88%.

Local traffic, Frankfurt – Sao Paulo – Frankfurt, accounted for around 26,000 passengers, or 11% of its total.  Lufthansa achieved an estimated local fare of EUR892 one-way (excluding taxes and fuel surcharges) against EUR527 for Rio de Janeiro. This is because Sao Paulo is more business-focused and reflects stronger premium demand.

Bridging passengers were surprisingly sizeable, at ~59,000, with the top market being Londrina via Sao Paulo and Frankfurt to Nagoya.

Of course, it was connections behind/beyond Frankfurt that were key, with an estimated 135,000 – or nearly six in ten of its total.

Lufthansa’s Sao Paulo – Frankfurt; seat load factor of ~88%, but where do they connect (4)

Source: OAG Traffic Analyser using MIDT data.

Nagoya leads top-10 O&Ds, but Germany #1 country

Perhaps surprisingly, Nagoya was Lufthansa’s number-one market from Sao Paulo over Frankfurt, with an almost 15,000 annual passengers, or around 20 daily each way if the year is split equally.  

Brazil has the second-largest Japanese population outside of the Asian country, with over 1.5 million, while there are over 300,000 Brazilians in Japan.

Japan was Lufthansa’s second-largest country market to/from the Brazilian city (~20,300), after Germany (~22,800) and Italy (~12,700).

Across all airlines, an estimated 133,000 flew Sao Paulo – Japan last year. Lufthansa was the second-largest airline between the two behind Emirates.  

Top-10 O&Ds over Frankfurt: Sao Paulo to/from… Estimated passengers (two ways) Top-10 countries over Frankfurt: Sao Paulo to/from… Estimated passengers (two ways)
Nagoya 14,841 Germany 22,830
Munich 4,902 Japan 20,281
Tokyo Haneda 3,712 Italy 12,728
Berlin Tegel 3,705 Austria 6,773
London Heathrow 3,510 UK 6,479
Dublin 3,358 France 6,287
Vienna 3,307 China 5,532
Paris CDG 2,944 Switzerland 4,288
Hamburg 2,882 Sweden 3,915
Lisbon 2,767 Portugal 3,858
Source: OAG Traffic Analyser using MIDT data.

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