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Luxair lost heavily in 2020 as travellers stayed home

Luxair lost heavily in 2020 as travellers stayed home

10.05.2021 From our online archive
Passenger numbers for state-owned airline fell by 70%
A Luxair plane lands at Luxembourg's Findel airport
A Luxair plane lands at Luxembourg's Findel airport
Photo credit: Anouk Antony

By Kate Oglesby and Emery P. Dalesio

Every segment of state-owned national airline Luxair's business -- from holiday tours to freight -- suffered from pandemic-required shutdowns last year and left behind a €155 million annual operating loss, the company said on Monday.  

The airline suffered a 70% fall in passenger numbers in 2020 after international travel ground to a halt because of the pandemic, Luxair said in its annual report. Turnover for 2020 dropped by two-thirds to €263 million. Comparable revenues in 2019 were €614 million and created a profit of €8.1 million.

Luxair jets were almost entirely grounded for two months and "operations were limited by the numerous travel restrictions that were imposed throughout the rest of the year", the company said.

Luxair is 61% owned by Luxembourg and state-owned bank BCEE.

Even Luxair's cargo business lost €10.5 million despite a 6% increase in volume as airlines worldwide focused on shuttling high-value goods instead of tourists or business travellers, the company said.

In contrast, Luxembourg’s freight airline Cargolux posted a record profit last year, when it was able to take advantage of charging higher-than-normal prices. Cargolux's $769 million (€636 million) profit for 2020 was more than 3 ½ times higher than its previous best mark of $211 million in 2018.

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