Lufthansa is sticking to its forecast of making an operating profit in 2009, despite a flight from premium class leading to a mixed set of first half figures.
The German airline posted an operating profit of €8m for the first six months of 2009. It also made a net profit of €40m in the second quarter alone, down 88.1% from a year earlier but comfortably ahead of analyst forecasts of an €18m loss.
Sales fell 19.4% to €5.2bn in the second quarter, worse than the 14-percent drop expected while operating profit came to €52m, down almost 90%.
“The figures speak for themselves. Crises ruthlessly reveal the weak points and we shall act,” chief executive Wolfgan Mayrhuber said in the statement.
“Lufthansa is equally prepared for a further drop in demand and for the opportunities which would arise if competitors left the market,” he added.
The airline carried 33.2 million passengers in the first six months of 2009, a decrease of 4.8% from the same period a year earlier.
Lufthansa’s freight division suffered as well, with a 20 percent drop in first-half traffic.
“We still cannot be satisfied with this result,” finance director Stephan Gemkow, added that the airline planned to cut costs in its passenger division by €1bn by 2012.
“We are fully determined to remain the best - also in a time of crisis and in significantly changing competition,” Gemkow said. “We are acting now in order to ensure success.”
The airline’s cost-cutting programme includes axing around 400 administrative posts in its passenger division.