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Lufthansa posts September rise in traffic

FRANKFURT, Oct 11 – Germany\’s leading airline, Lufthansa, reported on Monday a 12.1-percent annualised increase in September passenger traffic, and a 20.8-percent jump in freight gave another sign of recovery in the sector.

Lufthansa carried a total of 5.7 million passengers last month, while the entire group including Austrian Airlines, BMI and Swiss recorded a 7.9-percent increase to 8.65 million passsengers, a statement said.

It was the first time that Lufthansa\’s group figures were fully comparable with those of last year following the integration of Austrian Airlines and BMI in mid 2009, the German company noted.

In the first nine months of the year, 44.1 million people flew on Lufthansa planes, a gain of 5.2 percent from the same period a year earlier.

"While the passenger count grew in all traffic regions, the strongest growth was recorded in the Middle East / Africa region," the airline said.

Lufthansa\’s freight operations handled a total of 159,000 tonnes in September meanwhile, an annualied gain of 20.8 percent as global economic activity expanded.

The nine-month figure showed an increase of 19.4 percent to about 1.3 million tonnes.

In late September, the International Air Transport Association more than tripled its forecast for airline industry profits this year as demand picked up but the IATA also warned that earnings would ease back next year.

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