Lufthansa chief predicts ‘sharp increase in demand’ for summer travel Business News

“The longer the crisis lasts, the greater the desire of people to travel”: Carsten Spohr, managing director of the German national airline, gave a remarkably positive forecast by announcing a loss of one billion euros for Lufthansa.

The airline boss told investors, “We know bookings are increasing wherever restrictions are lifted and travel is once again possible.

“Given the predictable major advances in vaccination rates, we expect demand to increase sharply starting in the summer.

“Encouraging signals, such as the announcement by the European Commission that it will re-allow vaccinated passengers from the United States to travel to Europe, confirm our confidence.”

But until the recovery begins, Lufthansa – along with other European airlines – suffers heavy losses.

In the first three months of the year, sales of the entire group, which includes Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airline and Swiss, fell 60% to 2.6 billion euros (2.3 billion pounds sterling).

The comparable quarter in 2020 was only partially affected by the effects of the pandemic.

The operating loss amounted to € 1.1 billion (£ 960 million), which works out to £ 7,400 per minute between January 1 and March 31, 2021.

The average plane in the first quarter of 2021 was only 45% full, down from 78% a year earlier.

Mr Spohr said: “The first quarter was still completely dominated by the pandemic. Thanks to significant cost savings, we were nevertheless able to achieve better results than in the previous year.

“We will not relax our efforts to further modernize the Lufthansa Group, to make it lighter, more efficient and to maintain our position among the world’s leading airlines.”

More than 21,000 workers have left the organization and further layoffs among Lufthansa ground staff are expected – “to help further reduce the number of employees in a socially acceptable manner”.

The German government has given Lufthansa at least € 9 billion (£ 7.8 billion) in financial support since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Previously, the aircraft manufacturer Airbus had reported an increase in its profits – but CEO Guillaume Faury warned: “The first quarter shows that the crisis is not yet over for our industry and that the market remains uncertain. “

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This notice was published: 2021-04-29 06:19:24