Tag Archives: Lufthansa Group

Lufthansa Group achieves its best financial result in its history

"Team D" Olympic logo

Results for 2017

  • Adjusted EBIT increased around 70 percent to some EUR 3 billion
  • Adjusted EBIT margin raised 2.9 percentage points to 8.4 percent
  • Earnings growth primarily driven by the Group’s airlines (including cargo)
  • Revenues up 12.4 percent to EUR 35.6 billion
  • Unit costs further reduced
  • 60 percent higher dividend proposed at EUR 0.80 per share

Outlook for 2018

  • Stable unit revenue development expected
  • Unit costs to be further reduced by 1 to 2 percent
  • Higher fuel costs of some EUR 700 million expected to be largely compensated by improved operating performance
  • Adjusted EBIT for the year expected to be only slightly below its record in 2017

The Group continues;

“Our endeavors of the past few years are paying off. Our modernization has a sustainable impact. We have achieved the best result in the history of our company. 2017 was a very good year for our customers, our employees and our shareholders,” says Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board & CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. “Last year we were able to reduce costs again, while at the same time becoming the first – and the only – airline in Europe to be awarded a five-star rating. We are lowering our costs where this does not affect the customer, and are simultaneously further investing in our product and service quality.”

Total revenues for the Lufthansa Group in 2017 amounted to EUR 35.6 billion, a 12.4 percent increase on the previous year. The Adjusted EBIT of EUR 2.97 billion was a significant 69.7 percent year-on-year improvement. And the 8.4 percent Adjusted EBIT margin was up 2.9 percentage points compared to previous year. EBIT for the year increased more than EUR 1 billion to EUR 3.3 billion. The strong increase of EBIT includes the positive EUR 582 million one-off effect from agreeing on the collective labor agreement with the Vereinigung Cockpit union for the pilots of Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings, which was recognized in the income statement in December.

“We are particularly pleased that we were again able to lower our passenger airlines’ unit costs excluding fuel and currency factors last year. This is in particular as passenger related costs were actually up due to higher load factors, the variable remuneration was higher in light of strong result development, and additional costs because of compensation paid for the flight cancellations at Air Berlin burdened our cost as well,” adds Ulrik Svensson, Chief Financial Officer of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. “Excluding these one-off effects, we reduced our unit costs by 1.8 percent.”

The Lufthansa Group invested some EUR 3 billion in 2017, around a third more than in the previous year. This is partly due to investments of some EUR 900 million into aircraft from the Air Berlin flight operations. “These higher investments also reflect the increased size of our Group. But investments relative to revenue remain on one level with the world’s most successful airlines’,” comments Ulrik Svensson. “Important is that the return on capital continues to increase. In 2017, our Adjusted ROCE (after tax) improved by 4.6 percentage points to 11.6 percent.”

Despite the higher capital expenditure, free cash flow almost doubled in 2017 to EUR 2.3 billion. Net financial debt rose 6.8 percent to EUR 2.9 billion. This figure includes an initial EUR 1.7 billion funding for the new defined contributions model of the flight attendants’ pension fund. Total pension provisions decreased by EUR 3.2 billion in 2017. The year-end equity ratio stood at 26.5 percent, an increase of 5.9 percentage points.

“On the basis of these very good results, we propose a dividend of EUR 0.80 per share to the Annual General Meeting,” says Ulrik Svensson. “This is a 60 percent increase of the pay-out compared to last year. This is the minimum level of dividend payment that we aim to maintain in the coming years.”

Network Airlines

The Group’s Network Airlines – Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines – increased their Adjusted EBIT by nearly 50 percent to some EUR 2.3 billion. With strong demand and a positive pricing environment, the Network Airlines raised their EBIT margin 2.6 percentage points to almost ten percent.

Point-to-Point Airlines 

Despite the significant expenses in the context of acquiring capacities from Air Berlin, Eurowings reduced its unit costs excluding fuel and currency factors by 6.5 percent. On the back of this and strong market demand, Adjusted EBIT increased by some EUR 200 million. Despite adverse one-off factors related to market consolidation, the Group’s Point-to-Point Airlines improved their Adjusted EBIT margin by 7.3 percentage points and achieved a positive Adjusted EBIT of around EUR 100 million. The inorganic growth after the insolvency of Air Berlin will make a positive contribution to the Point-to-Point Airlines’ from 2019 onwards.

Aviation Services

The Group’s Aviation Services in total achieved a very good result, though the development among the business segments was quite different. A combination of cost reductions and strong demand helped Lufthansa Cargo to improve its Adjusted EBIT by almost EUR 300 million to EUR 242 million. The EUR 415 million earnings of Lufthansa Technik were broadly in line with prior-year levels. Against the background of the continuing transformation of its European operations, the LSG Group sustained a EUR 38 million decline in its earnings for the year to EUR 66 million.


EUR 700 million higher fuel costs can be largely offset by an improved operating performance, so that for 2018 in total an Adjusted EBIT only slightly below previous year is expected. Organic capacity is expected to increase by some seven percent, as unit revenues excluding currency factors should remain broadly stable. Unit costs excluding fuel and currency factors should be further reduced by 1 to 2 percent.

“We will continue to consistently pursue our modernization,” concludes Carsten Spohr. “And in doing so, we will retain our clear focus on reducing our costs and at the same time raising our quality. This is the only way to sustainably increase our profitability. From a position of strength, we will continue to drive consolidation in Europe.”

Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Boeing 747-830 D-ABYA (msn 37827) (Team D) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 941203.

Lufthansa aircraft slide show:

Video: Building a Lufthansa Boeing 777-9X model:


Lufthansa Group female pilots take off

On March 8, 2018, six all-female crews from Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings and Brussels Airlines will start their morning rounds to Berlin on time for the International Women’s Day. The jets are flown from Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf, Vienna, Zurich and Brussels by two female pilots each.

In order to send out another signal on this day, the FlyingLab on flight LH440 from Frankfurt to Houston is under the command of a purely female crew – in the cabin, in the cockpit and also in front of the camera. The Airbus A380’s in-flight conference will not only focus on the various aspects of digital transformation, but will also highlight the achievements of women in a technology-dominated environment. A total of six speakers will talk about artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the future of work and mobility. The FlyingLab is the world’s only open innovation platform in the air. It consists of an on-board conference, which every passenger can follow on his or her own personal device and the opportunity to test the latest innovative products and services. The aim of this FlyingLab will be the South by Southwest (SXSW) – the world’s largest festival for interactive marketing, music and film that takes place annually in Austin, Texas.

“We have already been able to increase the number of female applicants at our pilot flying school by addressing applicants in a more targeted manner and by making it easier to combine family and work,”says Dr. Bettina Volkens, Member of the Executive Board for Human Resources and Legal Affairs of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. “15 percent of our junior pilots are currently female.”

As early as 1988, the first two women began their scheduled service at Lufthansa. In 2010, there was a premiere for the global airfreight industry: A freighter from Lufthansa Cargo took off with a purely female crew. Women in the cockpit are no longer rare. Approximately six percent of the Lufthansa Group’s pilots are female and their share has risen steadily over the past few years. Approximately 80 percent of the cabin crew are female. For the growing number of female pilots, Lufthansa has had the word “Kapitänin” (“Captain”) specially approved by the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache.

In addition to the cockpit, the Lufthansa Group also aims to increase the proportion of women in management positions. This is currently 15 percent. By 2021, the proportion of female executives at first management level is to be increased to 18 percent and at second management level to as much as 24 percent. „In order to meet these goals, we are preparing our best female junior executives for their future management responsibilities with our own one-year program,” says Volkens. At the same time, it is important to me to reduce unconscious bias when filling vacancies. A specially programmed video supports our hiring managers in selecting the right personnel for the right job.

Photo: Lufthansa Group.

From Reuters: Lufthansa CEO calls for significant cuts at Alitalia

Alitalia's 1960 retrojet

According to a report by Reuters, Lufthansa envisions a need for a significant restructuring at Alitalia before it will entertain a bid for the ailing flag carrier of Italy.

According to Reuters, Lufthansa’s CEO Carsten Spohr stated in a letter to Italian Industry Minister Carlo Calenda that a “New Alitalia” would be much smaller in size as relating to staff and its fleet if the Lufthansa Group took control of the airline.


The Italian government and Alitalia have not commented on the report.

Copyright Photo: Alitalia (2nd) (Compagnie Aerea Italiana) Airbus A321-112 EI-IXI (msn 494) (1960 logojet) LHR (SPA). Image: 924757.

Alitalia aircraft slide show:


Lufthansa Group to hire more than 8,000 new employees in 2018

Lufthansa Group has made this announcement:

In 2018, Deutsche Lufthansa AG will hire more than 8,000 new employees. The majority of them will be flight attendants who will work for various Lufthansa Group airlines in 2018. Lufthansa, Germany’s largest airline, will be hiring around 2,500 flight attendants alone at its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich; overall, the Lufthansa Group airlines will employ more than 4,000 new recruits.

Last year, besides its conventional application processes, Lufthansa carried out 11 “flight attendant castings”, which aroused great interest among the target group. Over 4,500 candidates have so far attended the various auditions and nearly 6,000 the regular applicants’ days in Frankfurt. Almost every third applicant received a job offer.

Just like Adriana Werner. “I’ve always wanted to work for Lufthansa,” says the mid-50-year-old new recruit, who was successful at the Lufthansa “flight attendant casting” in Offenburg last winter. “Being a flight attendant was and is a very big dream of mine. I couldn’t believe my luck at first,” she says happily. The dream of flying is now a reality for Adriana Werner.

However, employees are also being hired in other areas of the Group. Around 500 new hires are, for example, being planned for Lufthansa Technik at various locations. Austrian Airlines is also hiring a total of more than 500 new recruits, including flight attendants for the check-in and the cockpit, among others, and is also looking for employees in other business areas. With 38,000 employees, Lufthansa is the largest employer in Frankfurt and the federal state of Hesse.

The training of young people has special significance for the aviation group. In the 2017/18 training year, 250 new recruits will begin training or studying in the Lufthansa Group across Germany. And the choice is huge: A total of ten study programs and 30 apprenticeships – such as tool mechanic, systems catering, forwarding agent and logistics services – are available.

“Lufthansa is still one of the most attractive companies in Germany and is the ideal employer for many applicants. Last year, over 100,000 applications were submitted to the career portal http://www.Be-Lufthansa.com. We’re very proud of that. We are very pleased that we are able to hire more than 8,000 employees again this year,” says Dr. Bettina Volkens, member of the Executive Board and Head of HR & Legal Affairs at Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

Detailed information on entry opportunities in the Lufthansa Group and requirements can be found at http://www.Be-Lufthansa.com. Besides the “flight attendant castings”, applications can only be submitted via the career portal. A visit to the career fan page “Be-Lufthansa” on Facebook is also worthwhile. At http://www.facebook.de/BeLufthansa, HR experts give valuable tips and answer questions about the world of work in the Lufthansa Group. Or just click blog.be-lufthansa.com to get useful tips on possible training opportunities at Lufthansa.

In other news, Lufthansa also made this announcement:


The future of flying starts now: over a period of several months, the finalists of the “Telekom Fashion Fusion & Lufthansa FlyingLab” fashion and technology competition worked at Fab Lab Berlin on intelligent solutions for the flight experience of tomorrow. Three prototypes will be presented and tested on board a Lufthansa Airbus A380 today on its flight from Frankfurt to Houston. The young developer teams are presenting their ideas for new airline seats, on-board entertainment, and methods of communication between cabin crew and passengers. The platform of the event on flight LH440 is the Lufthansa FlyingLab, which gives Lufthansa passengers the opportunity to try out innovative products and services and find out more about smart fashion in a series of presentations – all at 33,000 feet.

Kai Duve, Head of Frankfurt Cabin Crews at Deutsche Lufthansa AG and member of the judging panel, is pleased with the innovative developments in the competition: “Technology and fashion are part of Lufthansa’s DNA. We’ve been working on functional clothing for 60 years. The challenge helps us expand our pool of ideas and gain valuable outside impetus: we can find out what our passengers really want on board. It brings us even closer to the flight experience of tomorrow.”

Overview of the teams:

Team feel.flight: Increased well-being on long-haul flights
The feel.flight team is presenting a full product system for improved individual communication and well-being on future long-haul flights. The center of communications between passengers and flight attendants is a chatbot, which can be addressed through most of the widespread messenger apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The chatbot is capable of classifying passenger needs, arranging them by priority, and coordinating the appropriate service activities. For other matters, such as requests for food and drinks or tips against fear of flying, a flight attendant becomes involved. Their uniform cuffs contain small displays that are linked with microcontrollers. For increased travel comfort, a blanket with integrated neck pillow can be worn like a cape and adjusted to the passenger’s individual need for warmth. Vibrations in the blanket’s neck pillow can wake the passenger gently, without a flight attendant having to intervene.

Team Smart Chair: The airline seat of tomorrow 
The Smart Chair project – which is more of a visionary concept study than a functional prototype – focuses on flight passengers’ personal space. Every passenger will enjoy a fully customized flight experience in their Smart Chairs – from entertainment program to travel comfort. The Smart Chair team also worked on a new outfit for cabin personnel. The fabrics used to make the prototype uniforms are thermoregulated, breathable, antibacterial, and antiallergic. As such, they stand up to the high demands of flight attendant workwear.

Team Lyra: Better focus on passengers with smart glasses
The Lyra team, with its “LYRA Connect” web application, wants to improve future communication between passengers and cabin crew, and thus personal service on board. For the flight attendants, LYRA Connect minimizes routing and optimizes service activities. Passengers can use their own mobile devices to send requests easily to the flight crew. Passengers can use it to order drinks, for example, or ask whether they will make their connecting flights. The next available flight attendant sees the request directly in their field of vision, thanks to smart glasses, and knows immediately who has asked the question or placed the order. The flight attendants can also call up additional information about passengers. To do so, they have to stand on a signal field, which is installed in the floor in front of each seat. LYRA then displays the corresponding information discretely on the flight attendant’s smart glasses. As a result, the flight attendant can find out in advance which language a passenger speaks, for example, or which meal preferences they specified.

The teams used modern information and manufacturing technologies to develop their prototypes, including 3D printing, laser cutting, digitally supported Jacquard weaves, and even the integration of artificial intelligence. The teams were supported by digitization and aviation experts, as well as by partner companies, over the entire project phase. Zeiss Smart Optics provided its slim data goggles for testing, for example.

The industry focus of the competition was a complete success
Deutsche Telekom, the initiator of Fashion Fusion, is also convinced that the industry focus they defined in this year’s challenge, on the future of flying, together with partner Lufthansa, was successful.

“The Fashion Fusion Challenge shows how digitization can positively change our travel experience on board aircraft and increase our personal well-being. We see ourselves as enablers here, because smart gadgets, smart fashion, and wearables require connectivity. With our gigabit network of the future and the best network technologies, we offer smart future experiences,” says Antje Hundhausen, Vice President for 3D Brand Experience at Deutsche Telekom.

Collaboration with the finalists extended
Following the Lufthansa FlyingLab, the prototypes will be presented to an international audience in Las Vegas, at an accompanying event to the CES (Consumer Electronics Show). The initiators of this exclusive challenge are pursuing further ventures with the teams: Lufthansa plans to pilot a larger number of the feel.flight blankets during the next FlyingLab, for example. Deutsche Telekom has also invited several teams to attend brand presentations at the Mobile World Congress and #FASHIONTECH in Berlin. Deutsche Telekom is also in talks with the Lyra team about the further development of the web application.

In-flight conference with renowned digital experts
The conference portion is the heart of each Lufthansa FlyingLabs flight. On board flight LH440, five renowned digital experts are providing insights into the topic “Fashion & Technology“: Prof. Dr. Paul Lukowicz (German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence), Christian Stammel (CEO of Wearable Technologies AG), Dr. Sabine Seymour (CEO of SUPA), Camille Bénech (Global Brand Lead for Luxury & Beauty at Google), and Paul Dillinger (VP and Head of Global Product Innovation and Premium Collection Design for Levi Strauss & Co). The speakers will be on camera on the Lufthansa flagship. All passengers will see the live video stream and presentations via WiFi, over a network installed specifically for the FlyingLab. The system also permits passengers to use their own devices to send questions to the speakers. The result is not only a one-of-a-kind conference atmosphere at cruising altitude, but also a dialog between passengers and experts.

Photos: Lufthansa Group.

European Commission approves the Lufthansa Group’s acquisition of LGW – Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter

Airberlin (airberlin.com) (LGW) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) D-ABQB (msn 4226) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 928479.

Lufthansa Group made this announcement:

The European Commission gave its formal approval on December 21, 2017 to the acquisition of Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter mbH (LGW) by the Lufthansa Group. The approval follows an extensive assessment of the planned transaction by the European Union’s competition authorities in their merger control capacity, after the Lufthansa Group concluded an agreement on October 13, 2017 to take over parts of the insolvent Air Berlin Group. The Lufthansa Group had made extensive concessions in advance of this approval.

All LGW personnel to be taken over

The acquisition of LGW will see 33 aircraft firmly added to the Eurowings Group fleet: 20 Bombardier DHC-8-400s (Q400s) (above) and 13 aircraft of the Airbus A320 family. All the employees of LGW will transfer to Eurowings with their current contracts of employment. With additional recruitments, the number of personnel in LGW’s flight operations should rise to up to 870 in 2018.

The formal transaction for the acquisition of LGW has been scheduled for January 2018.

Over the past few weeks, Eurowings has already hired over 500 employees, including a large number of pilots and flight attendants. By now, we have collective expansion agreements with all the unions ensuring that all flight operations of Eurowings, without exception, will be able to grow in the near term.

Copyright Photo: All LGW aircraft with now operate in the Eurowings livery, shedding the Airberlin color scheme. Airberlin (airberlin.com) (LGW) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) D-ABQB (msn 4226) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 928479.

Lufthansa Group assigns wide body aircraft to Berlin routes

Lufthansa Boeing 747-430 D-ABVR (msn 28285) FRA (Marcelo F. De Biasi). Image: 939653.

Lufthansa Group has made this announcement:

In order to fulfil the unusually high current demand for tickets from Berlin to Frankfurt, Munich, Zürich and Vienna, three airlines of the Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines) will replace the usually scheduled short-haul aircraft with wide-body aircraft for a short-term in October. In addition, all other scheduled flights from these hubs to Berlin will almost all be flown with the largest short-haul aircraft of the Lufthansa Group (Airbus A321) during the period from October 23-25.

With the use of the larger aircraft, far more passengers can be transported, so that as many travel wishes of Berliners can be fulfilled as possible. The extended flights from Berlin have been scheduled to enable passengers to conveniently reach many global transfer flights of the Lufthansa Group airlines via the airports Frankfurt, Munich, Zürich and Vienna.

Lufthansa is thus offering a daily flight from Frankfurt to Berlin with an Airbus A340-300 from October 23-25, 2017. From Munich, there will be an Airbus A340-600 flight once a day from Munich from October 23-24, 2017.

Swiss is planning to replace one flight from Zürich to Berlin with an Airbus A330-300 on October 24-25, 2017.

Austrian Airlines will use a Boeing 767 from Vienna to Berlin on October 24, 2017.

The cabin equipment of the wide-body aircraft is the same as for any long-haul flight of the Lufthansa Group airlines. The service will also be the same as that offered by Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines in the respective travel class for flights to and from Berlin.

The use of larger aircraft for this period are not the only measures taken by the airlines in the Lufthansa Group to cope with the strong demand and the pending shut down of Airberlin. In September, Lufthansa had already decided to use a Boeing 747-400 during high-peak times from Frankfurt to Berlin. The jumbo has thus visited Tegel more than 60 times.

In addition, Lufthansa will connect Berlin and New York four times a week from November 8, 2017.

Copyright Photo: Lufthansa has been operating the Boeing 747-400 between Frankfurt and Berlin (Tegel). Lufthansa Boeing 747-430 D-ABVR (msn 28285) FRA (Marcelo F. De Biasi). Image: 939653.

Lufthansa Group submits a concept for establishing a re-structured Alitalia

Alitalia's first Boeing 777-300

The Lufthansa Group submitted an offer letter on October 17, 2017, expressing its interest in establishing a “NewAlitalia”. Lufthansa has opted not to make an offer for the complete Airline but has stated interest in only parts of the Global network traffic and European and domestic point-to-point business.

The offer includes a concept for a newly structured Alitalia with a focused business model (“NewAlitalia”), which could develop long-term economic prospects.

The responsible commissioners have agreed to maintain confidentiality regarding the details of the offer.

Copyright Photo: Alitalia (3rd) (Societa Aerea Italiana) Boeing 777-3Q8 ER EI-WLA (msn 35783) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 939460.