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Lufthansa cost cuts on track

LUFTHANSA is on course to meet its cost-cutting targets, its chief executive said yesterday.<br /><br />&ldquo;We are on track in all areas,&rdquo; Wolfgang Mayrhuber said, as he relaunched the airline&rsquo;s on-board broadband internet service FlyNet.<br /><br />To safeguard profitability in the downturn, Lufthansa has said it plans to cut &euro;1bn (&pound;936m) of annual costs by 2011. <br /><br />It will cut several hundred jobs at its passenger airlines business and could defer some aircraft orders, the airline has warned.<br /><br />Lufthansa has forecast a full-year operating loss for its cargo business and said it may also post a loss in its passenger airline division if it cannot cut costs fast enough.<br /><br />Meanwhile, the airline said it would re-introduce on-board internet on its long-haul flights from next year, allowing passengers to send text messages, use their smartphones, and connect to the internet via laptops.<br /><br />The airline&rsquo;s first attempt more than six years ago failed to take off properly as its partner at the time, Boeing, withdrew the service. <br /><br />Lufthansa, which plans to start the service on 50 aircraft next year, has now teamed up with Panasonic.<br /><br />The news came as Lufthansa and Air France KLM &ndash; Europe&rsquo;s biggest airlines &ndash; said they were both seeking to put a limit on how much they will have to pay out for buying greenhouse gas permits.<br /><br />Both want to secure the amount they will have to pay out to emit carbon dioxide under an EU climate-change scheme from 2012.<br /><br />Prices for the permits to release one ton of greenhouse gases have jumped massively this year, to as high as &euro;16.04, up from a low of &euro;8.05.