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Lufthansa Group reduces operating loss through significant cost cuts

Lufthansa Group reduces operating loss through significant cost cuts
Lufthansa Group reduces operating loss through significant cost cuts
Written by Harry Johnson

Rising demand expected in the second half of the year: largest selection of tourist destinations ever offered at Lufthansa Group Airlines this summer

  • Adjusted EBIT in the first quarter (Q1) is minus EUR 1.1 billion, monthly operating cash drain is limited to EUR 235 million
  • Operating expenses reduced by 51 percent
  • Cargo business with a record profit in Q1 continues on track for success

The global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continued to weigh heavily on the Lufthansa Group’s business performance in the first quarter of 2021. Global travel restrictions continued to have a negative impact on demand for air travel and booking behavior.

Carsten Spohr, CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, says:

“The longer the crisis lasts, the greater people’s desire to travel again becomes. We know that bookings shoot up wherever restrictions are loosened and travel becomes possible again. Given the foreseeable major advances in vaccination rates, we expect demand to rise sharply from the summer onwards. Encouraging signals, such as the announcement by the EU Commission that it will once again allow vaccinated passengers from the USA to travel to Europe, confirm our confidence.

By contrast, the first quarter was still completely dominated by the pandemic. Thanks to consistent cost savings, we were nevertheless able to achieve better results than in the previous year. The changes already implemented in the Group are showing effect. We will not ease in our efforts to further modernize the Lufthansa Group, to make it leaner, more efficient, and to maintain our position among the world’s leading airlines.”

First quarter of 2021

Group sales fell by 60 percent to EUR 2.6 billion in the first quarter of the financial year (previous year: EUR 6.4 billion). The previous year’s comparable quarter was only partially affected by the effects of the pandemic. Despite this, operating loss based on Adjusted EBIT was EUR 1.1 billion, lower than in the previous year (previous year: minus EUR 1.2 billion). Consolidated net income was
minus EUR 1.0 billion (previous year: minus EUR 2.1 billion).

Operating expenses decreased by 51 percent to EUR 4.0 billion (previous year: EUR 8.2 billion). The number of employees fell by 19 percent compared to the previous year to a total of 111,262. A recently initiated attractive voluntary leave program for the ground employees of Deutsche Lufthansa AG is intended to help reduce the number of employees further in a socially acceptable way.