Back to black: Lufthansa returns to profit but shaves flight offerings amid travel chaos
Lufthansa has returned to black, posting an operating profit of €393m (£331m) in the three months to June following a boom in demand for cargo flights.
Up from last year’s loss of €827m, the carrier’s adjusted EBIT margin rose to 4.6 per cent while net income went up from a loss of €756m to a profit of €259m.
“The Lufthansa Group is back in the black,” said chief executive Carsten Spohr.
“This is a strong result after a half-year that was challenging for our guests but also for our employees.”
The group said it was expecting to generate an adjusted EBITDA of more than €500m for the full year, slightly below analysts’ forecasts of €569m.
“We want to and will continue to strengthen our position as the number one in Europe and thus maintain our place in the global top league of our industry,” Spohr added.
Nevertheless, the airline was forced to shave flight offerings for the third quarter of the year amid travel delays and disruption.
The carrier’s passenger airline division took a hit of €86m after a combination of labour shortages and ramped-up demand hit European hubs.
Lufthansa said it would offer around 80 per cent of “pre-crisis capacity” – 5 per cent down on previous quarterly forecasts.
Aviation analyst Sally Gethin told City A.M. the decision showed “how hard the current staffing shortage is impacting airlines.”
“Lufthansa, like BA, Emirates and KLM, has been forced to reduce its seat capacity in response to airport flight caps amid the ongoing travel chaos at airports,” she said.
“Effectively the airline will be down 20 per cent on its 2019 seat capacity level for the last quarter, although it had only ever planned to sell 85% of those seats.
“Now it will be 80 per cent showing that even now the airline is having to trim during the low season.”
The carrier was forced to cancel 2,000 flights this summer but, unlike British Airways (BA), didn’t halt the sale of tickets.
To comply with Heathrow’s cap of 100,000 daily departing passengers, BA suspended the sale of short-haul flights until mid-August, City A.M. reported.