Lufthansa expects positive quarter despite airport chaos

German national carrier Lufthansa said Friday it would record its best quarter since the start of the coronavirus pandemic despite widespread airport disruptions that have led to thousands of cancellations.

Lufthansa expects positive quarter despite airport chaos
A Lufthansa plane takes on passengers at Munich Airport. Photo: dpa | Sven Hoppe

The airline expects to book an operating profit of “between 350 and 400 million euros” for the period between April and June, it said in a statement.    

In the same period last year, the airline group — which includes Eurowings, Austrian, Swiss and Brussels Airlines — recorded an operating loss of 827 million euros.    

Lufthansa’s revenues in the second quarter had “more than doubled” to 8.5 billion euros in the space of 12 months, it said, as pandemic-related health restrictions fell away and air traffic picked up.    

The group’s passenger services had seen a “significant increase” in how full their flights were, but were still set to record a “negative” operating result, Lufthansa said.    

Instead, the “continuously strong performance at Lufthansa Cargo” lifted the overall figures.    The positive result comes despite widespread airport chaos, which has led to the cancellation of thousands of flights in the coming months.    

Earlier this week, the carrier slashed another 2,000 flights from its summer schedule to “ease the burden on the system”, according to a spokesman.    

A shortage of workers has left airports struggling to process high numbers of passengers, after they pared back their operations during the pandemic.    

In May, Lufthansa said it was “on track” over the year, despite the personnel shortage and the rising price of fuel.    

The group recorded its first operating profit since the start of the pandemic in the third quarter of 2021, posting a slender 17 million euro result.    

Lufthansa’s full second-quarter results for 2022 will be published on August 4. 

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German gas giant reports steep losses from Russian squeeze

German energy giant Uniper on Wednesday reported heavy first-half losses which it blamed on Russia squeezing gas deliveries in the wake of the Ukraine war.

German gas giant reports steep losses from Russian squeeze

The company, which accepted a government rescue package last month, said that it had recorded a net loss in the first six months of the year of €12.3 billion ($12.5 billion).

“Uniper has for months been playing a crucial role in stabilising Germany’s gas supply at the cost of billions in losses resulting from the sharp drop in gas deliveries from Russia,” CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach said in a statement.

The German government agreed in late July to take an around 30-percent stake in Uniper, which was threatened with bankruptcy as a result of the crisis.

Maubach said on Wednesday that the bailout would “prevent a chain reaction that would do much more damage”.

READ ALSO: German government to take 30 percent stake in gas company Uniper

“Our top priority now is to swiftly implement the stabilisation package,” he added.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz interrupted his summer holiday to announce the rescue plan, calling Uniper a “company of vital importance for the economic development of our country and for the energy supply of our citizens”.

Uniper said the “volatile environment” meant that it could not provide an earnings forecast for the current financial year.

But it expected “to record negative earnings owing to the significant reduction in Russian gas deliveries”.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has caused turmoil in European energy markets, especially in Germany, which is heavily dependent on Russian gas.

EU states have accused Russia of choking supplies in retaliation for Western sanctions over the war, with Germany charging that Moscow is usingnenergy as a “weapon”.

Russia in July restored critical gas supplies to Europe through Germany via the Nord Stream pipeline after 10 days of maintenance, but at low volumes, and suspicions linger that the Kremlin may trigger an energy crisis on the continent this winter.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What are Germany’s alternatives to Russian gas?