Despite the costs of expanding flight operations, investments in operational stability, and strikes at German airports, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr praised the company’s “good first quarter.” He also predicted a travel boom during the summer and projected a new traffic revenue record for the year.
Spohr noted that the private travel segment was recovering faster than the business travel sector. He also stated that demand on short and medium-haul leisure routes had already surpassed 2019 levels.
The group’s airline capacity increased to 75% of 2019 levels, a 30% increase from the first quarter of 2022. It is projected to reach 82% in the three months to June, with full-year capacity reaching 85%-90% of 2019 capacity. Spohr asserted that Lufthansa was well-positioned to strengthen its position among the top-five airline groups in global competition.
Chief Financial Officer Remco Steenbergen expressed confidence in the company’s outlook, stating that strong demand gave them hope for the coming months. However, Lufthansa is currently operating at 10%-15% below pre-pandemic productivity levels due to ongoing investments in operational stability.
Despite this, Steenbergen remained optimistic, noting that the company has the potential to increase earnings once the ramp-up phase concludes and the overall system becomes more stable. In April, Lufthansa agreed to sell its group catering division, LSG Group, to private equity firm Aurelius. The deal is expected to close in Q3 2023.