“More flexible and efficient”
Lufthansa proclaims the “new normal”.
Customers are returning when the Crown calms down: Lufthansa wants to expand its offer in Europe to almost pre-crisis level as early as the summer. Revenues have already doubled in winter, while the least has halved.
Holidaymakers and all other Lufthansa passengers need to be prepared for higher prices. The largest German airline has prepared customers for this. The background for this is the sharp rise in fuel prices as a result of the war in Ukraine and various flight services. Lufthansa chief Carsten Spohr expects further operational disruptions due to severe staffing problems at partners such as airports and air traffic control, as they already demonstrated at Easter. The group itself has left the Crown crisis behind and is in a “new normal,” Spohr said.
“We are more flexible, efficient and powerful than before the pandemic,” he continued. The strong demand is mainly driven by private travelers, to whom the company has responded with an increased tourist offer. In the summer, the Kranich group wants to fly 95% of the pre-crisis level on European short-haul routes again and the Eurowings direct flight subsidiary offers even more seats than in 2019. For the whole year, Lufthansa is aiming for a average of 75 per cent of pre-crisis supply. “New bookings are increasing week by week – among business travelers, but especially between holidays and private travel,” Spohr said. With 13 million passengers, Lufthansa carried more than four times compared to the first quarter of 2021.
In the first quarter, the Lufthansa Group contained losses thanks to a sharp increase in demand for tickets. The bottom line was a less than 584 million. It was 44% less than in the same quarter the previous year, which was even more affected by Corona. While sales more than doubled to nearly € 5.4 billion, the decline in daily activities (adjusted EBIT) fell 44% to € 591 million. The number of passengers more than quadrupled to 13 million in the year.
For the full year, the operating result is expected to improve compared to the loss of billions in the second year Corona 2021, also thanks to the continuation of the highly profitable transport business of Lufthansa Cargo. The division earned a record € 495 million in the first quarter. However, the board does not dare to say yet whether the group will go black for the whole year, also due to the recent extreme jumps in the price of kerosene, which in some cases has even exceeded the increases in raw oil. Another factor of uncertainty is how customers will react to the war in Ukraine and high inflation.
In view of the best prospects, Lufthansa also wants to return the state aid linked to the crown to its Swiss subsidiary Swiss by the middle of the year. Of the state-guaranteed credit line of 1.5 billion Swiss francs, 210 million has recently been used. Lufthansa had already repaid the repayable state aid from Germany last year. The Economic Stabilization Fund of the Federal Republic still holds a good 14 percent of the share capital of the MDax group.