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2018 was a good year for Lufthansa. While not everyone was happy with the change to the iconic crane livery early in the year, it clearly didn’t keep people from flying with the German flag carrier. The latest numbers released by the airline show that revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) saw steady growth during 2018. That growth brought a new title to the carrier to start 2019: Europe’s largest airline.

The new Lufthansa livery.

Lufthansa’s growth outpaced its main rival Air France-KLM about three times over, posting gains of around 9% for the year. Pushing a lot of that growth for the company was Eurowings, the discount-carrier arm of Lufthansa group, which posted growth numbers nearly hitting the 25% mark in 2018. This helped Lufthansa take the title of largest European airline some 14 years after the Air France and KLM merger. However, according to Bloomberg, Lufthansa’s lead is slight: It’s just 0.2% than Air France-KLM based on traffic.

In 2018, Lufthansa set new records for total passengers carried — 142 million — as well as having the highest seat load factor than ever before, at 81.4%. The airline is also experiencing very high demand from passengers for its first-class cabin, leading to higher revenue.

The iconic yellow and blue livery might have been lost last year, but from the numbers it clear passengers still enjoy flying with Lufthansa, no matter what paint job is on the plane.

H/T: Live and Let’s Fly

Featured Photo by Lufthansa Group / Photographer: Oliver Rosesler Oro Photography

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