Luxair recently published its 2022 annual report, in which it confirmed its return to profit after two years marked by the COVID-19 pandemic.
2022 also marked the 60th anniversary of its first flight, operated on 31 March 1962, connecting Luxembourg to Paris-Le Bourget Airport.
60 years later, Luxair experienced a recovery of its activities and continued to develop its offers and services. The performance of Luxair's various activities led the group to achieve the first positive consolidated operating result in many years: Luxair closed 2022 with a consolidated operating profit of €1.5 million for the 2022 financial year, compared to a consolidated operating loss of €30.7 million in 2021.
Despite the challenges encountered by aviation in Europe, Luxair maintained its operations and expanded its services and its portfolio of destinations, reaching a total of 90 in 2022. Luxair operated over 28,000 flights in 2022, compared to around 15,000 flights in 2021.
While in 2021 the airline had barely reached the threshold of one million passengers, Luxair Airlines and LuxairTours together transported more than two million passengers in 2022.
Luxair Luxembourg Airlines
Luxair recalled that the start of 2022 remained impacted by the last COVID-19 restrictions as well as the increasing resumption of travel. Following a slight recovery in passenger traffic in 2021, Luxair went on to reach approximately 1.2 million passengers in 2022. The most popular destination for Luxair's passengers in 2022 was France, followed closely by Portugal and Italy.
After an increase in passengers of 119% in 2021 compared to 2020, LuxairTours recorded a 54% increase in 2022, reaching more than 850,000 passengers. As in 2021, package tours were the main growth driver in 2022 (up 60%) - Luxair has attributed this to the development of destinations outside Europe such as Tunisia and Turkey, which were affected by travel restrictions in the two previous years. The Balearic Islands were once again at the top of the LuxairTours passenger favourite destinations for 2022, followed by the Canary Islands and continental Spain. Tunisia and Portugal also remained among the most popular destinations.
After 2021 being mainly characterised by the highest tonnage in its history, LuxairCARGO recorded a decrease in tonnage in 2022, due to the drop in air freight in Europe and the demand for urgent transport linked to the pandemic, according to Luxair. The airline added that several factors such as the increase in the price of fuel products and the consequences of the war in Ukraine have also had a negative impact on the air cargo business, bringing the tonnage handled by LuxairCARGO teams to around 995 thousand tonnes in 2022.
Following a promising year in 2021, LuxairServices recorded an increase in its activities in 2022 with higher passenger traffic at Luxembourg Airport. In 2022, Luxair Catering served 2.2 million meals compared to 1.3 million in 2021, an increase of 75% made possible by, according to the airline, the growth of Luxair flights. LuxairServices closed 2022 with 24,125 aircraft turnarounds assisted by its teams at Luxembourg Airport, including all Luxair and LuxairTours flights, other airlines and charter flights.
Looking ahead to 2023, Luxair noted that despite an encouraging recovery in passenger traffic in 2022, the evolution and forecasts of the industry and the economy call for caution for 2023. The airline cited fears linked to inflation, the risks of economic recession and geopolitical tensions as factors in Europe that also have an impact on Luxair's activities. However, Luxair assured that its teams are continuing to work on maintaining and securing its operations, focusing their efforts on the development and expansion of its portfolio of destinations in Europe and beyond. Other potential challenges include the gradual renewal of Luxair's fleet and the reduction of its environmental footprint. This year again, Luxair is pursuing its efforts to achieve its support for the promise of "Net-Zero carbon emissions by 2050", submitted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
In March 2023, Luxair announced the purchase of two Boeing 737-8 aircraft to be delivered in 2026. Meanwhile, as a bridge solution to immediately secure its fleet, Luxair will temporarily lease from Boeing two other 737-8 which will be operated by its own crews, until the delivery of new aircraft. In April 2023, Luxair confirmed the purchase of two additional Boeing 737-8s, bringing the total number of firm orders from Boeing to four.