Category Archives: Lufthansa Group

Unions attack Lufthansa Group’s desire to dismantle Germanwings

The trade unions of the Lufthansa Group have issued this joint statement about the future of Germanwings:

Joint appeal by VC, UFO, Verdi, IGL/TGL and ACA
Stabilization of Lufthansa only possible with all employees

On April 6, the trade unions and associations, VC, UFO, Verdi, IGL/TGL and ACA made a joint appeal to the Lufthansa Group Executive Board.

The background is the Lufthansa Group’s unilateral decision to question the future of its subsidiary Germanwings.

Markus Wahl, President of Vereinigung Cockpit: “The announcement that in an unprecedented crisis such as the current one, a part of the workforce will be confronted with an existential threat is met with incomprehension. Right now, every decision must take the concerns of all employees into account. This is the only way employees can stand behind the group and work towards stabilization.

The Corona crisis has hit the aviation industry particularly hard. Great efforts will be necessary to overcome this crisis. We as trade unions in the Lufthansa Group offer our support for solutions that can be supported by all employees.

Note: Germanwings previously operated its aircraft for Eurowings.

Germanwings aircraft photo gallery:

Lufthansa Group extends returnee flight schedule until May 3, 2020

Lufthansa Group has made this announcement:

Due to the continuing travel restrictions, Lufthansa has decided to extend its returnee flight schedule, which was originally scheduled to run until April 19, until May 3, 2020. This also means that all remaining flights of the original flight schedule between April 25 and May 3 will be cancelled. Flights which were planned to operate until April 24 were cancelled at an earlier date. As of April 2, 2020, the route cancellations will be implemented successively and the passengers affected will be informed of the changes.

Lufthansa will thus continue to offer an urgently needed basic service. A total of 18 weekly long-haul flights are scheduled: three times a week each from Frankfurt to Newark and Chicago (both USA), Montreal (Canada), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Bangkok (Thailand) and Tokyo (Japan). Flights to Johannesburg (South Africa) had to be cancelled by April 16 due to official regulations. In addition, the airline still offers around 50 daily connections from its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich to the most important cities in Germany and Europe.

Swiss, too, will in future offer three weekly long-haul services a week to Newark (USA) from Zurich and Geneva, in addition to a substantially reduced short- and medium-haul timetable focusing on selected European cities.

In addition to the regularly scheduled services, the airlines in the Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Swiss, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings and Edelweiss) have been operating more than 300 special flights since March 13, taking some 60,000 holiday makers back to their home countries of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium. Around 45 further flights are already in preparation. Clients are and have been tour operators, cruise lines and governments.

In addition to regular cargo flights, the Lufthansa Group has already operated 22 pure cargo special flights with relief supplies on board. A further 34 special cargo flights are already planned.

Passengers whose flights have been cancelled or who were unable to take their flight can keep their booking and do not have to commit to a new flight date for the time being. The ticket and ticket value remain unchanged and can be converted into a voucher for a new booking with a departure date up to and including 30 April 2021. The conversion into a voucher is possible online via the airlines’ websites. Customers who choose a new travel date up to and including 31 December 2020 will also receive a 50 Euro discount on every rebooking.

Lufthansa aircraft photo gallery:

 

Lufthansa Group publishes flight schedule for returnees

Lufthansa Group has made this announcement:

  • Lufthansa Group Airlines’ flight schedule geared to returnees
  • Return flight schedule initially valid until 19.4.
  •  Lufthansa Group provides 920,000 face masks to health authorities

From the beginning of next week, a return flight schedule will be in effect for the airlines in the Lufthansa Group. This will initially be valid until April 19, 2020.

Harry Hohmeister, Member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG: “This situation has a historic dimension. Hardly anyone wants to or is currently allowed to travel. That is why our returnee flight schedule is now essentially geared to the needs of European citizens who want to return to their home countries. We are now flying as many people home as possible!”

The intercontinental return flight schedule in detail

Long-haul flights are offered as scheduled from Frankfurt and Zurich. Lufthansa’s intercontinental flight schedule from Frankfurt is as follows: three times a week to Newark, Chicago (both USA), Montreal (Canada), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Bangkok (Thailand), Tokyo (Japan) and Johannesburg (South Africa).

In addition to a substantially reduced short- and medium-haul timetable (48 services from Zurich), Swiss will in future offer three weekly long-haul flights to Newark (USA).

Lufthansa’s short- and medium-haul schedules

From its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, Lufthansa still offers around 40 daily connections to the most important cities in Germany and Europe.

Short and medium-haul flight schedule of Eurowings

Eurowings flight program focuses on the basic supply of the airports of Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Cologne.

Special flights for governments and tourism companies

In order to bring as many people as possible back home quickly, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group are currently operating numerous special flights all over the world in close consultation with the governments of their respective home countries and on behalf of tourism companies. With around 130 extra flights operated by Lufthansa, Eurowings, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Edelweiss, around 25,000 passengers have so far flown home. Around 100 further flights are already being prepared.

Renunciation of the use of face masks

The Lufthansa Group is waiving the purchase of more than 920,000 permanently ordered face masks and making them available to the health authorities. In this way, the company assumes social responsibility and supports medical facilities that urgently need these masks. The Group has a sufficient quantity of masks in stock for Lufthansa Group employees.

In addition, Lufthansa Group employees who have completed medical training can now be released quickly and unbureaucratically on a voluntary basis for specific work in a medical facility.

Lufthansa Group achieves adjusted EBIT of 2 billion euros in a difficult economic environment

Lufthansa Group issued this statement:

  • Outlook 2020: magnitude of the expected decline in adjusted EBIT currently not predictable 
  • Corona crisis: Comprehensive savings measures throughout the Group including: far-reaching capacity reductions, ”short-time working” mechanism in home markets and suspension of dividend 
  • Flight schedule for relief flights until 19 April
  • In addition over 140 special flights planned and operated until now
  • Executive Board waives 20 percent of basic remuneration

Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG:

“The spread of the coronavirus has placed the entire global economy and our company as well in an unprecedented state of emergency. At present, no one can foresee the consequences. We have to counter this extraordinary situation with drastic and sometimes painful measures. At the same time, we must live up to the special responsibility that airlines bear in their home countries. We are doing everything we can to bring as many passengers as possible home on relief flights. In addition, we are doing our utmost to help ensure that supply chains for many thousands of businesses do not break down by mobilising additional capacity for air freight transport. The longer this crisis lasts, the more likely it is that the future of aviation cannot be guaranteed without state aid. In view of the massive impact of the Corona crisis, today’s publication of our results for the past financial year is unfortunately sidelined.”

The most important key figures of the 2019 annual financial statements have already been reported in an ad hoc announcement on 13 March.

At 2.0 billion euros, the adjusted EBIT of the Lufthansa Group was in line with the forecast despite considerable charges. The main drivers for the decline were a 600 million euro increase in fuel costs and a noticeable economic slowdown, especially in the Group’s home markets. Earnings development was also impacted by high price pressure in the European market due to overcapacity and the weakening of the global airfreight market. Lufthansa Group revenue in 2019 rose by 2.5 per cent to 36.4 billion euros (previous year: 35.5 billion euros). The adjusted EBIT margin was 5.6 per cent (previous year: 8.0 per cent). Consolidated net profit fell by 44 per cent to 1.2 billion euros (previous year: 2.2 billion euros).

Unit revenues of the passenger airlines in the Group fell by 2.5 per cent in 2019, adjusted for exchange rate effects, in particular due to the overcapacity in the Lufthansa Group’s home markets. At the same time, unit costs adjusted for fuel and currency effects were reduced by 1.5 per cent in 2019, the fourth year in succession.

In 2019, the Lufthansa Group invested 3.6 billion euros (previous year: 3.8 billion euros), a large part of which in new aircraft. Adjusted free cash flow fell to 203 million euros (previous year: 288 million euros) due to lower profits and higher tax payments. Return on capital employed (adjusted ROCE) after taxes decreased to 6.6 percent (prior year: 10.8 percent).

At year-end, interest-bearing net liabilities amounted to 4.3 billion euros. Including lease liabilities of 2.4 billion euros recognized for the first time as a result of the application of IFRS 16, net debt thus amounted to around 6.7 billion euros (prior year: 3.5 billion euros). Pension liabilities rose by 14 percent to 6.7 billion euros (previous year: 5.9 billion euros), mainly due to the lower interest rate used to discount pension obligations, which fell to 1.4 percent (previous year: 2.0 percent).

In order to secure its strong financial position, the Lufthansa Group has raised additional funds of around 600 million euros in recent weeks. In actuarial terms, the Group thus has liquidity of around 4.3 billion euros. In addition, there are unused credit lines of around 800 million euros. Further funds are currently being raised. Among other things, the Lufthansa Group will use aircraft financing for this purpose.

“The Lufthansa Group is financially well equipped to cope with an extraordinary crisis situation such as the current one. We own 86 per cent of the Group’s fleet, which is largely unencumbered and has a book value of around 10 billion euros. In addition, we have decided to propose to the Annual General Meeting that the dividend payment be suspended, and we are proposing short-time working in our home markets,” said Ulrik Svensson, Chief Financial Officer of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

The Lufthansa Executive Board also decided yesterday to waive 20 per cent of its basic remuneration in 2020.

Corona crisis: Drastic cuts in Lufthansa Group flight operations / numerous special relief flights planned and carried out

Due to entry restrictions in many countries and a collapse in demand, the Lufthansa Group was forced to make drastic cutbacks in its flight operations. Air Dolomiti conducted its last flight for the time being on 18 March. Today the last regular scheduled flight of Austrian Airlines landed in Vienna. With the exception of special flights, Austrian Airlines is suspending its flight operations until 28 March. Brussels Airlines will not be offering any regular flights in the period from 21 March to 19 April. 

Lufthansa is discontinuing its long-haul operations in Munich and will initially only offer long-haul flights from Frankfurt. Swiss will offer only three weekly long-haul flights a week to Newark (USA) in addition to a substantially reduced short- and medium-haul schedule. Lufthansa’s short-haul program will also be substantially reduced further, and only Lufthansa CityLine services will be operated from Munich. From the hubs in Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich, only a few European metropolitan areas will be served. The relief flight schedule runs until April 19 and only provides for a total of about five percent of the originally planned program. Around 700 of the Lufthansa Group’s 763 aircraft will be temporarily parked.

In order to bring as many people as possible back home quickly, Lufthansa Group airlines are also operating numerous special relief flights around the world. This is also possible due to the unparalleled support and solidarity of the crews as well as ground staff, who at a moment’s notice volunteered their assistance.

In close consultation with the governments of their home countries and on behalf of tour operators, Lufthansa Group airlines are currently offering around 140 special relief flights. More than 20,000 passengers are thus flying home with Lufthansa, Eurowings, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Edelweiss. The figures alone include the special flights that were firmly planned until yesterday. Numerous other special flights will follow in the next few days.

In addition, the Lufthansa Group is making every effort to ensure that supply chains in Germany and Europe do not come to a standstill. Lufthansa Cargo continues to fly its regular program, except for cancellations to mainland China, keeping the entire freighter fleet in the air. This currently consists of seven Boeing 777Fs, six MD-11Fs and four 777Fs from Aerologic. In addition, the company is currently examining the possibility of using passenger aircraft without passengers as pure cargo aircraft in order to further increase cargo capacity.

Lufthansa Cargo aircraft photo gallery:

Lufthansa Group airlines continue operating to the USA

Lufthansa Group has made this announcement:

  • Chicago, Newark (New York) and Washington will still be served
  • Special flight schedule for the USA will be available soon
  • Flight operations to Canada continue unchanged
  • The impact of the changes in the entry regulations for India is currently being assessed
  • Customers are asked to check their current flight status on lufthansa.com, swiss.com, austrian.com or brusselsairlines.com

Despite the new travel guidelines ordered by the US administration on passengers from the European Union, Switzerland and other countries, Lufthansa Group Airlines will continue to offer flights to the USA from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium.

The Lufthansa Group will continue operating flights from Frankfurt to Chicago and Newark (New York), from Zurich to Chicago and Newark (New York), from Vienna to Chicago, and from Brussels to Washington beyond March 14, 2020, thus maintaining at least some air traffic connections to the USA from Europe. The airlines are currently working on an alternative flight schedule for the USA. Passengers will still be able to reach all destinations within the USA via the U.S. hubs and connecting flights served by partner airline, United Airlines.

In addition, all other U.S. flights will be suspended until further notice due to U.S. administration restrictions, including all departures from Munich, Düsseldorf and Geneva. The Lufthansa Group will continue to serve  all destinations in Canada until further notice.

As planned, the Lufthansa Group’s airlines are offering 313 connections to 21 destinations in the USA from Europe in the winter schedule, which is still valid until March 28, 2020.

The impact on the Lufthansa Group flight program due to the recently changed entry regulations for India is currently being evaluated.

Lufthansa passengers planning a trip over the next few weeks are advised to check the status of the respective flight on lufthansa.com, swiss.com, austrian.com or brusselsairlines.com before embarking on their journey. Guests who have provided Lufthansa with their contact details will be informed if their flight is cancelled.

Lufthansa aircraft photo gallery:

Lufthansa Group plans to reduce flight schedule by up to 50 percent, may ground all Airbus A380s

Lufthansa Group has made this announcement:

Due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the spread of Covid-19 and the resulting drastic decline in bookings as well as numerous flight cancellations Lufthansa Group decided to reduce the flight capacity on offer even more than previously planned. Depending on the further development of demand, capacity is to be reduced by up to 50 per cent in the coming weeks. These capacity adjustments apply to all passenger airlines in the Lufthansa Group.

Lufthansa Airbus A380-841 D-AIMB (msn 041) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 946668.

Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Airbus A380-841 D-AIMB (msn 041) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 946668.

In addition, the extent to which the entire Airbus A380 fleet (14 aircraft) can be temporarily taken out of service in Frankfurt and Munich is currently being examined.

This measure is designed to reduce the financial consequences of the slump in demand. It complements the planned savings actions in the area of personnel, in material costs and project budgets, and other liquidity measures. In addition to an immediate hiring freeze, Lufthansa Group has already offered its employees the use of voluntary individual personnel measures in recent weeks. These include the granting of unpaid leave and bringing forward annual leave. The company is in talks with its operating partners and trade unions in order to avoid dismissals – among other measures – by means various part-time models, including probationary periods.

It is not yet possible to estimate the burden on earnings to be expected from current developments. The Group will publish key financial figures at the annual press conference on March 19, 2020.

Lufthansa aircraft slide show:

Lufthansa Group cancels all flights to Israel due to new entry regulations

Lufthansa Group made this announcement:

  • All flights to Tel Aviv and Eilat will be cancelled as of next Sunday for the next three weeks
  • Lufthansa cancels about 7,100 European flights in March as of today

The extended refusal of entry of the Israeli authorities, which apply from March 6, 2020 among others also for travelers from Germany, Switzerland and Austria, will lead to a considerable drop in demand for flights to Israel.

As a result, Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines will cancel all their flights to Tel Aviv and Eilat as of Sunday, March 8, 2020 for the remaining winter timetable period until March 28, 2020. The Lufthansa Group sees itself forced to make this cancellation for economic and operational reasons, as many passengers are no longer entitled to enter the country.

For operational reasons, some flights to Tel Aviv this Friday and Saturday have already been cancelled, as also flight crews are affected by these new restrictions. All airlines mentioned above usually offer a total of ten daily flights to Tel Aviv, in addition Lufthansa has one scheduled weekly service to Eilat.

Lufthansa: 7,100 European flights cancelled in March

Due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the spread of the coronavirus and the decline in demand, the Lufthansa Group has also decided by reducing capacity by up to 25 percent. The route cancellations and frequency adjustments correspond to a calculated capacity of 150 aircraft, of which 125 are short- and medium-haul and are 25 long haul. The Lufthansa Group fleet currently comprises around 770 aircraft, including some 180 long-haul aircraft.

Starting on March 5, 2020, the route cancellations and frequency adjustments will be implemented successively and the passengers affected will be informed about the changes and rebooking options. Until the end of March, Lufthansa is cancelling a total of about 7,100 flights (including 3,750 flights from Frankfurt to 75 airports, and 3,350 flights from Munich to 65 airports).

The focus is on domestic flights from the Frankfurt hub to Berlin, Munich and Hamburg as well as from Munich to Berlin, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Bremen and Hanover. These are high-frequency connections, some of which are operated up to every half hour by Lufthansa. This means that numerous rebooking options are available.

A second focus of the route cancellations and frequency adjustments is Italy. This includes the destinations Milan, Venice, Rome, Turin, Verona, Bologna, Ancona and Pisa.

Lufthansa passengers are advised to inform themselves about the current situation of the respective flight via lufthansa.com before departure. Guests who have submitted their contact details to Lufthansa will be proactively informed of the cancellations. This is because in addition to domestic German and Italian connections, other flights to Scandinavia, Great Britain, the Baltic States, Poland, Russia, France, Spain, Portugal, Great Britain, etc. are affected.

When cancelling routes, Lufthansa has taken into account the fact that all European destinations will continue to be serviced, so that in most cases customers can be offered a suitable alternative.

In addition, the airline had already decided last week to suspend flights from Germany to mainland China until April 24, 2020 inclusive. The connection to Tehran will remain cancelled until April 30, 2020.

Lufthansa is also reducing frequencies in its route network to and from Hong Kong and Seoul (Korea), among others. Flights between Munich and Hong Kong will be suspended between March 6 and April 24. Passengers will be rebooked via Frankfurt and Zurich if possible during this period. Between March 5 and April 24, 2020, some frequencies will also be cancelled on routes from Frankfurt and Munich to Seoul.

In addition, the Lufthansa Group has announced further cost-cutting measures in the areas of personnel, materials and project budgets.

It is not yet possible to estimate the impact on earnings expected from current developments.

The Group will publish key financial figures at its annual financial results press conference on  March 19, 2020.