Lufthansa Group Reports Transatlantic Demand ‘Boom’

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The Lufthansa Group reported a
“significant’ increase in business travel books as overall bookings climbed to 80 percent of 2019 levels by the end of
the third quarter.

The group reported €3.9 billion in traffic revenue for the
third quarter, more than double the third quarter of 2020, and total revenue
nearly doubled to €5.2 billion. Total capacity in the quarter was about half of
pre-Covid-19 levels but double what it was in the second quarter. The group’s
flights got fuller as capacity increased, with an average load factor of 68.8
percent, up 17.4 percentage points compared with the second quarter.

The announcement that the
U.S. was reopening to European visitors generated a “boom in
demand” over the past few weeks, including a strong demand for premium
classes, according to the group. Weekly bookings increased by more than 50
percent compared with previous weeks after the announcement, and transatlantic
bookings have returned to 80 percent of 2019 levels, just as overall bookings
have, the group reported. Flights to New York, Miami, San Francisco and Los
Angeles are the most frequently booked.

In the fourth quarter, the group projects capacity will be
60 percent compared with 2019, increasing to 65 percent in the first quarter of
2022 and to 80 percent by the second half of next year.

The Lufthansa Group also announced that it plans to spend
$250 million on sustainable aviation fuel over the next three years, which
group chairman and CEO Carsten Spohr said “is the largest purse
sustainability investment in the history of the Lufthansa Group to date.”
Like Air
France-KLM recently announced, the group is participating with the United
Nations’ Science-Based Target initiative to validate its plans to halve net
carbon emissions compared with 2019 levels by 2030 and to be carbon neutral by
2050. The validation with the initiative will happen next year, according to
Lufthansa.

The group reported a net loss of €72 million for the third
quarter, compared with a net loss of nearly €2 billion in the third quarter of
2020. Earnings before interest and taxes was €17 million—€272 million excluding
restructuring costs—marking the group’s first operating profit since the onset
of the Covid-19 pandemic, “another milestone on our way out of the
crisis,” according to Spohr.

RELATED:
Lufthansa Q2 earnings



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