Lufthansa vows company revamp as losses balloonReuters | Updated: 03-06-2020 12:22 IST | Created: 03-06-2020 12:17 IST
Lufthansa vowed to step up up restructuring measures after posting a first-quarter net loss of 2.1 billion euros ($2.35 billion), days after agreeing on a state bail-out amid the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
The German carrier's pledge to slash costs comes as it braces for a significant decline in 2020 earnings. "In view of the very slow recovery in demand, we must now take far-reaching restructuring measures," said Chief Executive Carsten Spohr, adding the group was in talks with labor representatives over cutbacks.
The first-quarter loss, which compares to a net loss of 342 million euros in the year-earlier period, was driven by write-downs of 266 million euros on its fleet, as well as write-downs on the book value of catering business LSG North America by 100 million and on budget unit Eurowings by 57 million, the carrier said on Wednesday. A slump in fuel hedging contracts was another 950 million euro burden on the bottom line.
Lufthansa, which had grounded almost all its aircraft at the height of the pandemic, confirmed a loss before interest and tax of 1.2 billion euros during the first three months of the year, first reported in April. The group's non-executive board on Monday approved a 9 billion euro ($10 billion) government bailout that will force it to cede some of its prized landing slots to rivals.
Lufthansa Group, which includes Swiss, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines, suffered a 98% slump in April passenger numbers from the year-earlier month to 241,000. But it laid out plans on Wednesday to increase the offered capacity in September to reach 40% of what it had scheduled before the crisis.
Analysts expect the national carrier to be removed from Germany's benchmark blue-chip index DAX of which Lufthansa has been a constituent since the gauge's inception in 1988.