Lufthansa, one of Europe’s largest airline groups, has confirmed operating profits for 2010 of €876 million. The company’s chief executive, Christoph Franz, said that although the results were encouraging, the year ahead was likely to throw up a number of challenges. He explained that revenues through 2012 would continue to grow as long as there was no adverse affect on business from unforeseeable events and the spiralling price of oil.
He added that no airline was immune to the rising cost of jet fuel and that a hike in air traffic tax was hitting travellers across Europe where it hurt. He went on to say that competition within Europe and on routes to and from Asia and the US was also becoming much tougher. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks and political unrest were also something to be factored in, Franz said.
Lufthansa managed to declare a profit which is five times the figure announced for 2009 despite losses at a number of subsidiaries. Bmi has declared a €145 million loss and Austrian Airlines a €66 million loss. Lufthansa has defended the performance by saying that both carriers are continuing to implement restructuring measures.
Germanwings was also down by €39 million. However, Lufthansa said the carrier was continuing to grow. One of the group’s successes was Swiss which announced a €298 million operating profit.
Lufthansa pointed to a number of improvements over the past year including the re-introduction of internet services, a brand new Europa cabin and a fleet of Airbus A380 superjumbos.