Lufthansa on the road to recovery, the Ukrainian crisis limits visibility


BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Lufthansa, which cut losses in 2021 but remained in the red, said it could not provide a detailed outlook for 2022 due to the war in Ukraine and the pandemic.

The airline said it expects a significant improvement in operating results for the rest of the year after a difficult first quarter of 2022.

“We are confident that air traffic will experience a strong recovery this year,” said chief executive Carsten Spohr. “Now we are leaving the crisis behind us mentally and – given the high booking figures this year – also in business terms.”

But major uncertainties about developments in Ukraine and the economic and political fallout, as well as uncertainties about the evolution of the pandemic, did not allow the company to provide a detailed financial outlook, Lufthansa said.

Moscow closed its airspace to European and American planes after European states and the United States banned Russian flights.

Airlines are bracing for potentially long blockages of key east-west flight corridors and bracing for further disruptions to their passenger and cargo operations.

The Lufthansa Group, which includes Eurowings, Austrian Airlines and Swiss, plans to offer more than 70% of its pre-crisis capacity this year, rising to 85% for the summer.

The company announced an operating loss of 2.3 billion euros ($2.55 billion) in 2021, in line with analysts’ forecasts. The shares traded down 1.4% at the start of the Frankfurt trade.

In 2020, the company reported a loss of 5.5 billion euros.

A partial sale or partial listing of Lufthansa Technik was planned for 2023, Lufthansa said.

($1 = 0.9007 euros)

(Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach; Writing by Miranda Murray, Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Paul Carrel and Edmund Blair)


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