The Lufthansa Group said that the collapse of the air transport market due to the COVID-19 pandemic leaves no choice: the German concern is forced to start downsizing and write off 100 aircraft.
“We are experiencing a caesura in global air traffic. We do not expect demand to return to pre-crisis levels before 2024. Especially for long-haul routes, there will be no quick recovery. We were able to counteract the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in the first half of the year with strict cost management as well as with the revenues from Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Cargo. And we are benefitting from the first signs of recovery on tourist routes, especially with our leisure travel offers of the Eurowings and Edelweiss brands. Nevertheless, we will not be spared a far-reaching restructuring of our business,” Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said.
The loss in the second quarter of 2020 is 1.5 billion euros – and this despite extensive cost reductions. Operating expenses were reduced by 59 percent, primarily through the introduction of short-time working for large parts of the workforce and the cancellation of non-essential expenditures. However, these measures were only partially able to compensate for the decline in sales. The logistics division benefited from stable demand.
In the second quarter of 2020, the Lufthansa Group airlines carried 1.7 million passengers, 96 percent fewer than in the previous year. Capacity fell by 95 percent. The seat load factor was 56 percent, 27 percentage points below the previous year’s figure. Freight capacity offered fell by 54 percent due to a lack of capacity on passenger aircraft.
In the first six months, the Lufthansa Group airlines carried a total of 23.5 million passengers, two thirds fewer than in the same period last year (minus 66 percent). Capacity decreased by 61 percent. The seat load factor fell by 9 percentage points to 72 percent in the period. Freight capacity offered fell by 36 percent.
The Lufthansa Group net result for the first half of the year thus amounted to minus 3.6 billion euros (previous year: minus 116 million euros).