Lufthansa plunges to €1.5bn loss

Telegraph reporters
·2-min read
Lufthansa planes at Munich airport
Lufthansa planes at Munich airport

Lufthansa sunk to a €1.5bn (£1.3bn) loss in the second quarter as the coronavirus pandemic slammed the brakes on travel.

The German airline carried just 1.7m passengers in the three months to the end of June – down 96pc on the same period last year as lockdowns restricted global air travel.

It made a €754m profit in the same period last year.

Lufthansa said demand for air travel would not return to pre-crisis levels until 2024 at the earliest, as it predicted a "clearly negative" operating loss in the second half.

The group, which received a €9bn German government bailout, said in June that 22,000 jobs would have to go.

It would not be possible to avoid redundancies, Lufthansa said. "We are experiencing a caesura in global air traffic," said chief executive Carsten Spohr.

The collapse in traffic led to an 80pc drop in quarterly revenue to €1.9bn for Lufthansa Group, which also includes Austrian Airlines and Swiss, down from more than €9.5bn last year.

The company will permanently reduce its fleet by at least 100 aircraft, although its 2024 capacity will correspond to that of 2019.

Lufthansa previously said they would reduce its use of Airbus A380s and Boeing 747s.

Where is safe to travel in Europe
Where is safe to travel in Europe

The bailout means Berlin now has a 20pc stake in the group. It has liquidity of almost €12bn including government funds.

It has spent about €2bn refunding tickets to customers whose flights have been cancelled.

Fraport, which controls Frankfurt airport, Lufthansa's main hub, said this week it plans to cut 3,000 to 4,000 jobs - as much as one-fifth of its workforce.

Passenger traffic at Germany's busiest airport fell 94.4pc year-on-year in the second quarter of 2020 compared with last year.

Separately, Ialy's civil aviation regulator is threatening to ban Ryanair from the country's airports over alleged non-compliance with rules introduced to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

ENAC accused the Irish airline of "repeated violation of anti-Covid-19 health measures drafted by the Italian government and in force to protect passengers' health".

Airlines operating in Italy are not required to ensure social distancing of one metre if other safety steps such as mandatory wearing of face masks are taken, but ENAC claimed Ryanair is failing to meet these requirements.

The regulator warned that if "violations of the rules" continue it could prevent Ryanair from flying to or from Italy.

The airline serves 29 airports in Italy.

Ryanair said the claims were "factually incorrect" and insisted it is "committed to the highest level of safety for our passengers and crew at all times".