Frankfurt-based air carrier Lufthansa made a small operating profit in the summer on the back of strong demand for its air freight services and a recovery in ticket sales, chief executive Carsten Spohr said on Wednesday.
During the year as a whole, Spohr is aiming to at least halve the operating loss – adjusted earnings before interest and tax – that the airline incurred during 2020, the year of the pandemic.
Last year, Lufthansa saw an operating loss of almost 5.5 billion euros (6.4 billion dollars).
“With rising demand for business travel and a record result of Lufthansa Cargo we have mastered another milestone on our way out of the crisis: We are back to black. We confirm our leading position among the world’s largest airline groups,” Spohr said.
For 2022, Lufthansa is planning to increase its service to around 70 per cent of pre-crisis levels.
During the third – summer – quarter, Lufthansa almost doubled turnover compared to the same quarter last year to 5.2 billion euros. Despite costs related to reducing staff, the airline booked an operating profit of 17 million euros for the quarter, against a loss last year of almost 1.3 billion euros.
Analysts had expected a small loss.
The net loss came in at 72 million euros, contrasted with a net loss of 1.97 billion euros in the third quarter last year.
The company noted a significant increase in new bookings that are now back at 80 per cent of pre-crisis levels. Lufthansa Cargo, which came through the pandemic largely unscathed, posted a renewed record with adjusted operating profit at 301 million euros.
Lufthansa’s budget subsidiary Eurowings posted pre-tax profits of 108 million euros, while Lufthansa Technik, the maintenance unit, lifted adjusted pre-tax profits to 155 million euros for the quarter
Catering subsidiary LSG Sky Chefs also posted a profit.
The network airlines – Austrian, Swiss and Brussels – were able to cut their losses by comparison with a year ago.
Lufthansa said that new bookings on its transatlantic routes had returned to around 80 per cent of 2019 levels following the announcement of a planned opening of the United States to travellers from Europe from next week.
The airline is continuing to cut staff. At the end of September, it had a total complement of 107,000. German staff have been cut this year by 4,000, with a further 3,000 to go.
On Monday, Ryanair, Europe’s largest budget carrier, posted operating profits for the third quarter at 245 million euros.