Lufthansa Group is cutting 95 percent of capacity, temporarily parking 700 of its 763 aircraft, as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The longer this crisis lasts, the more likely it is that the future of aviation cannot be guaranteed without state aid,” Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said on Thursday.
Announcing the Group’s results for the past financial year, Spohr referred to the Covid-19 pandemic as an “extraordinary situation” that has to be countered “with drastic and sometimes painful measures”.
“In view of the massive impact of the Corona crisis, today’s publication of our results for the past financial year is unfortunately sidelined,” Spohr said.
“The spread of the coronavirus has placed the entire global economy and our company as well in an unprecedented state of emergency. At present, no one can foresee the consequences,” Spohr stressed.
According to the Group’s results, Lufthansa’s revenue in 2019 rose by 2.5 percent to 36.4 billion euros (previous year: 35.5 billion euros). Meanwhile, consolidated net profit fell by 44 percent to 1.2 billion euros (previous year: 2.2 billion euros).
Regarding the outlook for the the magnitude of expected decline in 2020 earnings, Spohr said that it was “currently not predictable”.
Corona crisis hits Lufthansa hard
Due to entry restrictions in many countries and a collapse in demand, the Lufthansa Group was forced to make drastic cutbacks in its flight operations. Air Dolomiti conducted its last flight for the time being on March 18. On Thursday the last regular scheduled flight of Austrian Airlines landed in Vienna. With the exception of special flights, Austrian Airlines is suspending its flight operations until March 28. Brussels Airlines will not be offering any regular flights in the period from March 21 to April 19.
Lufthansa is discontinuing its long-haul operations in Munich and will initially only offer long-haul flights from Frankfurt. SWISS will offer only three weekly long-haul flights a week to Newark (USA) in addition to a substantially reduced short- and medium-haul schedule. Lufthansa’s short-haul program will also be substantially reduced further.
Lufthansa Group airlines’ relief flight schedule runs until April 19 and only provides for a total of about five percent of the originally planned program.
“Around 700 of the Lufthansa Group’s 763 aircraft will be temporarily parked,” Spohr said.