Operational stability

Reliability and punctuality are key criteria for operational stability

A high level of reliability and punctuality form the basis for a satisfactory travel experience for customers. To achieve this, the Lufthansa Group has established processes which include coordinated planning and cooperation between the operational areas and all stakeholders involved, including system partners such as airport operators and air traffic control. Daily flight operations are continuously monitored by the Lufthansa Group airlines’ hub control centres and all operating processes are managed from here. Based on regular operational performance reports, the airlines’ management identifies action areas and initiates measures to increase operational stability.

Organisational foundations and responsibilities

Responsibility for operational stability lies with the airlines of the Lufthansa Group. The Executive Board function “Fleet & Technology” defines general standards which apply to all of the airlines of the Lufthansa Group and establishes transparency regarding operational performance in the Lufthansa Group.

At the monthly Operations Board meetings, the Chief Operations Officers of Lufthansa Airlines, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings and Lufthansa Cargo, together with the responsible functional heads of flight operations, ground handling, safety and security and technical fleet management, provide the Executive Board with regular information. They also discuss and approve the results of their analyses and measures to improve operational stability.

Interdisciplinary performance dialogues are also in place for Lufthansa Group airlines’ operational processes, including system partners. The current level of performance is discussed within this framework, and any potential for improvement is identified and joint goals are defined.

To guarantee safe, punctual and reliable flight operations

Operational stability is a prerequisite for ensuring high customer satisfaction. The top priority for all Lufthansa Group airlines is to conduct safe, punctual and reliable flight operations.

The main performance indicators for judging operational stability are the airlines’ departure punctuality and regularity. While the Lufthansa Group already regularly reports on its level of punctuality, due to the frequent flight cancellations in the summers of 2022 and 2023 the regularity of planned flight operations was also reported in 2023.

As is common internationally, all flights taxiing to the runway no later than 15 minutes after the planned departure time are defined as punctual. The target for Lufthansa Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings is to handle 85% of all flights on time, while SWISS has a target of 80%. The level of regularity indicates the proportion of flights which were not cancelled at short notice on operational grounds. The target for the Lufthansa Group’s passenger airlines is to carry out at least 99% of all flights planned 72 hours earlier.


Operational stability cannot be ensured by the airlines in the Lufthansa Group alone. There are still high levels of staff shortages in various areas of the aviation sector and disrupted supply chains for necessary spare parts. In this environment, besides internal operational improvements general solutions are required to enable the aviation system to cope with the further rise in passenger numbers.

Optimised planning processes and product improvements contribute to more stabilised flight operations and improved procedures

Due to the flight irregularities which arose in the previous year due to staff shortages in various areas of the aviation system, the range of flights offered by the Lufthansa Group were adjusted early on in the reporting year, in line with the level of performance of all of its system partners, such as airports, ground handling services and air traffic control. Supported by new employee hires in the operational areas of the Lufthansa Group and its system partners, this enabled flight operations to be expanded to meet the growing demand. Continuous dialogue with the various players in the aviation system is maintained so that changes in performance levels can be taken into account in flight operations planning at an early stage.

The Lufthansa Group airlines have also established process and product improvements designed to optimise procedures for customers. Examples include the introduction of a direct luggage transfer process in case of very short connecting times and the establishment of a central baggage support centre, which assists with the rapid and reliable delivery of any luggage left behind. For the busy summer months of 2023, the Executive Board also assembled a “summer task force”. This consisted of representatives from product development and the Group’s operational areas who support the implementation of measures with additional resources.

Performance indicators
Departure punctuality and regularity at the Lufthansa Group airlines during the busy summer months were higher than in the previous year

Over the financial year as a whole, the departure punctuality of 65.3% (previous year: 65.9%) and regularity of 97.8% (previous year: 97.9%) changed only slightly compared with the previous year. This mainly reflects the fact that the volume of flights in the spring of 2022 was still significantly reduced, leading to a high level of operational stability, while in the spring of 2023 operational stability was adversely affected by a large number of external strikes at various German airports.

However, due to the measures implemented, the levels of punctuality and regularity both improved during the busy summer season. In the summer months of June/July 2023, the departure punctuality was significantly higher than in the previous year (48%) at 58%. Nevertheless, further improvement in performance indicators was limited, mainly due to capacity bottlenecks affecting European air traffic control, which caused 19% of all of the delays affecting the Lufthansa Group airlines. The shortages of qualified personnel for ground handling service providers could not be sufficiently remedied either, since the Lufthansa Group’s passenger numbers rose significantly compared to the previous year.

Lufthansa Group Annual Report 2023