Germany's Lufthansa says 'left pandemic behind' as passenger numbers spike

AFP - [email protected]
Germany's Lufthansa says 'left pandemic behind' as passenger numbers spike
Passengers check in for a Eurowings flight at Cologne airport. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Banneyer

German airline giant Lufthansa said Thursday it had "left the pandemic behind" as it reported a robust third-quarter net profit, and predicted strong demand in the months ahead.


Lufthansa had made huge losses when the coronavirus brought global air travel to a halt, and had to be bailed out by the German government in 2020.

But a strong rebound in demand as economies reopen has lifted the company's fortunes.

The net profit of €809 million from July to September compares to a loss of €72 million in the same period a year earlier.

CEO Carsten Spohr said the group had "left the pandemic behind and is looking optimistically into the future".


"The desire to travel, and thus the demand for air travel, continues unabated."

All business segments, from passenger airlines to logistics, contributed to the result, he said.

The results extend the group's recovery, after it reported its first net profit in August since the pandemic.

Third quarter revenues almost doubled year-on-year to €10.1 billion.

More than 33 million passengers flew with the airlines of the group in the quarter, up from 20 million in the same period a year earlier.

The group's passenger airlines returned to profitability, with an adjusted operating profit of €709 million, compared with a loss a year earlier.

More strong demand

Lufthansa said it believes air travel demand will remain strong in the months ahead, and it expects to make an operating profit in the fourth quarter despite the usual seasonal slowdown.

The group -- which includes Eurowings, Austrian, Swiss and Brussels Airlines -- had already announced earlier this month it was significantly raising its earnings forecast for 2022 due to strong demand.

It confirmed that it expected adjusted operating profits of more than €1 billion for the year.

The positive results came despite strike action by pilots and ground staff over the summer, which cost the group around €70 million during the July-to-September period.

Lufthansa made huge net losses of €6.7 billion in 2020 and €2.2 billion in 2021 due to the pandemic, but its finances have stabilised earlier than expected.

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

READ ALSO: Flights cancelled in Germany as Eurowings three-day strike begins


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