Lufthansa reports healthy earnings, extending recovery

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said the group had “left the pandemic behind and looked to the future with optimism”.

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said the group had “left the pandemic behind and looked to the future with optimism”.

German airline giant Lufthansa reported third-quarter net profit of 809 million euros ($814 million) on October 27 as the group extends a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lufthansa had suffered huge losses when the coronavirus halted global air travel and had to be bailed out by the German government in 2020. But a strong rebound in demand as economies reopened improved the company’s fortunes.

Net profit of 809 million euros from July to September compares with a loss of 72 million euros in the same period a year earlier. CEO Carsten Spohr said the group had “left the pandemic behind and looked to the future with optimism”.

“The desire to travel and therefore the demand for air travel continues unabated.” Third-quarter revenue nearly doubled year-on-year to 10.1 billion euros. In the third quarter, more than 33 million passengers traveled with the group’s airlines, significantly more than a year earlier.

The group – which includes Eurowings, Austrian, Swiss and Brussels Airlines – had already announced earlier this month that it was significantly raising its profit forecast for 2022 due to strong demand. In August, Lufthansa announced its first net profit since the pandemic.

“The strikes by pilots and ground staff over the period from July to September cost the airline around 70 million euros,” he said.

However, Lufthansa pilots agreed last month not to strike again until at least the end of June next year after reaching a deal with bosses over higher pay.

The group made huge net losses of 6.7 billion euros in 2020 and 2.2 billion euros in 2021 due to the pandemic, but its finances stabilized earlier than expected due to a pent-up demand for air travel.

The German government sold its remaining stake in Lufthansa last month, putting the airline back into private hands.

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