Tag Archives: Swiss

Lufthansa Group to put 80 aircraft back in the air starting on June 1

Starting in June, Lufthansa, Eurowings and Swiss will be offering monthly restart schedules to significantly more destinations in Germany and Europe than in the past few weeks. The repatriation schedules will thus end on May 31, 2020.

A total of 80 aircraft will be reactivated with the June timetable. This means that a total of 106 destinations can be served in the coming month. From June 1, 2020, 160 aircraft will be in service with the Group’s passenger airlines. The previously valid repatriation flight schedule was calculated to be flown with only 80 aircraft.

The Lufthansa Group’s airlines are thus responding to the growing interest of customers in air travel, following the gradual easing of restrictions and limitations in the German federal states and entry regulations of other countries in Europe.

Starting in June, numerous sunny destinations such as Mallorca, Sylt, Rostock and Crete will once again be accessible with the airlines of the Lufthansa Group. Further details of the June flight schedule will be published in the course of the coming week.

Customers are asked to take the current entry and quarantine regulations of the respective destinations into account when planning their trip. Throughout the entire trip, restrictions may be imposed due to stricter hygiene and security regulations, for example due to longer waiting times at airport security checkpoints. The catering services on board will also remain restricted until further notice.

The obligation to wear a mouth-nose cover on board introduced by the airlines of the Lufthansa Group on May 4, 2020 has been very positively received and accepted by guests. Customers will continue to be asked to wear a mask during the entire journey.

In other news, Deutsche Lufthansa is negotiating a stabilization package for 9 billion euros with the Federal Economic Stabilization Fund (Wirtschaftsstabilisierungsfonds – WSF) to finance the Lufthansa Group. The negotiations and the process of political decision-making are still ongoing.

The negotiations on financing measures include a silent participation and a secured loan. The conditions are currently being discussed. A stake by the German government in the company’s share capital is also part of the negotiations. In this context, various alternatives of a capital increase are being discussed, including an increase at the nominal value of the share, if necessary after a capital cut, to create a shareholding of up to 25% plus one share. In addition, conditions in accordance with the EU Temporary Framework and WSF Act are provided, including the waiver of future dividend payments. In addition, the WSF is seeking representation within the Supervisory Board.

The Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG is continuing negotiations with the aim of ensuring the future viability of the company for the benefit of its customers and employees.

Swiss International Air Lines takes delivery of its first Airbus A320neo

"Engelberg", 1st A320neo, delivered on February 20, 2020

Swiss International Air Lines (Swiss) has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo aircraft (HB-JDA) at a delivery ceremony in Hamburg, Germany. It is the first of 25 A320neo Family aircraft ordered by Swiss International Air Lines.

Photo: Airbus.

The A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies including new-generation engines, Sharklets and cabin efficiency enablers, which together deliver 20% fuel savings. With more than 7,300 orders received from over 110 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured some 60% share of the market.

Top Copyright Photo: Swiss International Air Lines Airbus A320-271N WL HB-JDA (msn 9246) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 949161.

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Swiss orders two additional Boeing 777-300ERs

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Swiss International Air Lines has ordered two additional Boeing 777-300ERs to take its long-haul fleet to a total of 31 aircraft.

The aircraft are expected to go into operation in early 2020 and will be used to extend the route network.

Swiss already operates ten Boeing 777-300ERs.

A decision will be made on the routes to be served by the two new aircraft within the next year.

Following the commissioning of the two new aircraft, the Swiss long-haul fleet will comprise a total of 12 Boeing 777-300ERs, five Airbus A340-300s and 14 Airbus A330-300s.

Swiss International Air Lines serves over 100 destinations in 43 countries worldwide from Zurich and Geneva and carrying some 17 million passengers a year with its 90-aircraft fleet. Swiss is part of the Lufthansa Group, and is also a member of Star Alliance, the world’s biggest airline grouping.

Copyright Photo: Swiss International Air Lines Boeing 777-3DE ER HB-JNF (msn 44587) MIA (Bruce Drum). Image: 104596.

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Lufthansa Group improves its financial results for the first half of 2015

Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) today issued this financial report for the first half of 2015. The group produced a profit of €954 million ($1.0 billion) for the first six months of 2015, compared to a loss of €79 million ($86.3 million) in the same period a year ago. Here is the group’s report:

Lufthansa Group logo

The Lufthansa Group reports solid business development for the first half of 2015 and improved results in all of its operating segments. The Adjusted EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Tax) rose by EUR 290 million year-on-year to EUR 468 million. For the six months ended June 30, sales increased by 8.5 percent to EUR 15.4 billion, with traffic revenue accounting for EUR 12.1 billion of that figure.

Yields for the Lufthansa Group’s passenger airlines rose by 2.4 percent in the first half of 2015, which was mainly exchange rate related. Had it not been for the tailwind from a weaker euro, however, yields would have been appreciably lower, in line with expectations.

In the second quarter alone, yields declined by 5.7 percent after adjusting for exchange rate effects. Although unit costs as a whole also rose mainly as a result of currency exchange rates, the EUR 309 million reduction in fuel costs coupled with improved sales and capacity utilization more than compensated for the reduction in prices. All currency effects in the first six months net to a total negative impact of EUR 158 million. The net effect is negative as Lufthansa Group has higher costs in foreign currencies, among others due to fuel spending in US Dollar, compared to the revenue side in foreign currencies.

The Group’s net result for the first six months of the year rose to EUR 954 million, compared with a net loss of EUR 79 million for the same period in the prior year. In addition to a higher operating result, this is mainly due to the increase in the financial result. More than half of the Group’s net result was attributable to an accounting effect resulting from the appreciation in equity capital of EUR 503 million following the redemption of the jetBlue convertible bond in the first quarter. In the second quarter, assessments of interest and exchange rate hedging instruments as well as fuel hedging options had a positive impact, increasing the result by a total of EUR 176 million.

Simone Menne, Chairman of the Financial and Aviation services of Deutsche Lufthansa AG said:

“Our first-half results are solid. Aside from the positive development of our business operating areas and, in particular, our passenger airlines, which gained extra momentum in the second quarter, the fall in fuel costs is largely responsible for the improvement in our results. We will, however, not be misled by that, since we assume that the price level for airline tickets will not recover. We will therefore continue to work consistently on the competitive focus of the Lufthansa Group.”

Swiss new logo

In the second quarter, the Lufthansa Group achieved an Adjusted EBIT margin of 7.6 percent. Lufthansa Passenger Airlines and, in particular, Swiss played a crucial role in this positive development. The Passenger Airline Group recorded a margin of almost 8 percent in the second quarter, with Swiss, with a margin of over 11 percent, posting an exceptionally good result – also in comparison to others in the sector.

 

 

Germanwings (2nd) (13) logo

Germanwings also remains on a successful course, and will close the current year in profit for the first time.

Simone Menne:

“Our strategic focus is right. On the one hand, our premium brands – Lufthansa and Swiss – are very successful, and at the same time Germanwings and Eurowings are also showing good business developments as secondary brands. We are focusing on the premium quality of our hub airlines and the high level of competitiveness of our secondary brands in point-to-point traffic. This approach makes us profitable and fit for the future within the airline market”.

In the first half year, Lufthansa Passenger Airlines improved its result by EUR 181 million, Swiss by EUR 90 million, based on an Adjusted EBIT of EUR 178 million.

Austrian (2015) logo

 

While Austrian Airlines reported a loss of EUR 17 million in the first half-year, it managed to increase the Adjusted EBIT by a solid EUR 27m compared with the previous year.

Lufthansa Cargo logo

 

However, in the second quarter, Lufthansa Cargo was unable to maintain its good performance of the first quarter. With the introduction of the summer timetable, Lufthansa Cargo’s competitors significantly increased their freight capacity in many markets, thereby placing prices under increasing pressure. Eventually, the logistics segment achieved an improvement of EUR 7 million in the Adjusted EBIT to EUR 50 million in the first half-year.

The other business segments also managed to improve their half-year results:

Lufthansa Technik by EUR 41 million to EUR 268 million and LSG SkyChefs by EUR 17 million to EUR 26 million.

The equity ratio rose again to 17.5 percent at the end of the second quarter due to the higher actuarial interest rate and the resultant decrease in pension provisions. The ratio was therewith higher than for the full-year 2014. Although pension liabilities declined as a result of the 2.9 percent increase in the actuarial interest rate, at EUR 6.6bn overall pension liabilities still remain at a very high level.

Simone Menne: “With regard to pension liabilities and equity, it can also be said that developments throughout the second quarter have been positive, even if they were strongly driven by external factors. The need for sustainable structures in our pension scheme and transitional pension arrangements remains unchanged, nevertheless. The ambitious investment program to which we are committed to in the coming years is part of our strategy to ensure our sustainability. In order to generate the necessary funds we need the right conditions in all the business areas and companies within the Lufthansa Group.”

In the first half, operating cash-flow rose by almost 45 percent to EUR 2.5bn. At the end of the first half-year, a free cash flow of just over EUR 1bn was reported – almost double that of the previous year. Against this background, net indebtedness decreased substantially by 31 percent compared to the full-year 2014.

As planned, capital expenditure rose year-on-year. Amongst other things, the delivery of two further Airbus A380s and four Boeing 747-8s as well as the modernization of First and Business Class on the long-haul fleet and the installation of the new Premium Economy Class were contributory factors. Gross expenditure in 2015 will total EUR 2.9 billion. For the following years, a decline in the level of investment to EUR 2.5 billion is planned.

Lufthansa confirms its outlook for the full-year 2015 with an Adjusted EBIT of more than EUR 1.5 million before strike costs.

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Lufthansa is approaching the retirement of its remaining Boeing 737 fleet (Boeing 737-300s and 737-500s). The Classic 737 is likely to be retired by the end of the year depending on schedule demand although this remains fluid. Boeing 737-330 D-ABXL (msn 23531) taxies at Zurich.

Lufthansa aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Swiss converts 10 firm Bombardier CS100 orders to the larger CS300

Swiss-CS100-(12)(Flt)(Bombardier)(LRW)

Bombardier (Montreal) announced today that launch operator Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) has converted 10 of its 30 firm-ordered CS100 aircraft to the larger CS300 aircraft. The original purchase agreement for 30 CS100 aircraft was signed by Deutsche Lufthansa AG on Swiss’ behalf and announced in 2009.

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Bombardier has booked orders and commitments for 603 C Series aircraft, which include firm orders for 243.

Swiss aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Swiss new logo

 

Swiss to be the first operator of the Bombardier CS100

Swiss new logo

Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) and Bombardier Commercial Aircraft (Montreal) announced Swiss will be the first customer to take delivery and operate the CSeries aircraft when the CS100 aircraft enters service in the first half of 2016. Bombardier also confirmed the CSeries aircraft will make its world debut at the International Paris Air Show being held at Le Bourget, France and will fly directly to Zürich, Switzerland in June as part of a demonstration organized for Swiss’ local stakeholders.

Swiss was previously announced as the launch customer for the CSeries aircraft program after parent Deutsche Lufthansa AG (Lufthansa) signed a firm purchase agreement in 2009 for 30 CS100 single-aisle aircraft for Swiss.

Swiss aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Image Below: Bombardier.

Swiss-CS100-(12)(Flt)(Bombardier)(LRW)

Lufthansa Group reports a first quarter profit of €425 million ($474 million)

The Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) reported a net profit of €425 million ($474 million) for the first quarter. Here is the full report:

Lufthansa Group logo

The Lufthansa Group has reported a positive course of business for the first quarter of 2015. At total revenue of nearly 8 per cent higher, the EBIT and adjusted EBIT both rose by EUR 73m. Both key performance indicators were thus 30 per cent higher than in the previous year. The Group closed the first quarter with an adjusted EBIT of EUR -167 m (previous year: EUR -240 m).

Simone Menne, Chief Officer Finance and Aviation Services of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, says: “All operating business segments were able to increase their results in the first quarter. Above all, Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) and Lufthansa Cargo (Frankfurt) have done better than in the previous year. But Lufthansa German Airlines has also shown a positive development, although it was worse hit by strikes and other one-off effects than in the previous year.”

The Group result rose significantly more strongly than the adjusted EBIT in the reporting period. With a plus of EUR 677 m in comparison with the same quarter in the previous year, the Lufthansa Group achieved a consolidated result of EUR 425 m. An extraordinary effect from the premature exchange of JetBlue swaps made a significant contribution to this development. This transaction alone improved the financial result without an effect on equity by EUR 503m.

The result was once again overshadowed by the consequences of the strike called by the trade union Cockpit among the pilots of Lufthansa German Airlines, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings on a total of six days between January and March 2015. Flight cancellations caused by strikes led to a burden on the result of EUR 42m. Due to weaker advance bookings in the following quarters as a consequence of the strike, Lufthansa expects a further burden on the result of EUR 58m.

Cash flows, which are important in view of high total investments, developed positively in the reporting period. Cash flow from operating activities rose to EUR 1,394m (previous year: EUR 855m), the free cash flow improved to EUR 532m (previous year: EUR 195m).

The actuarial interest rate for valuing pension obligations declined further in the first three months of the year, in Germany from 2.6 per cent to 1.7 per cent now. Thus the arithmetic pension burden rose by EUR 3.4bn. This was contrasted with a growth in pension assets of around EUR 500m. The equity ratio fell by 5.7 percentage points to 7.5 per cent now.

“This development shows once again how volatile the key figure ‘equity ratio’ has become since the introduction of the new IFRS accounting standards. We are not alone in this situation. However, other groups have already made the necessary structural change from a cover oriented to a contributions oriented pension commitment. Here, more urgently than ever, we need sustainably financeable solutions in place of obsolete structures. We can only achieve this together with our collective bargaining partners,” says Simone Menne.

Operating costs and income showed strong fluctuations in comparison with the same quarter in the previous year. What was decisive here was the significantly lower oil price, the continuing weakness of the euro and low interest rates. Fuel costs were EUR 209m lower than in the same quarter in the previous year, while expenses on fees went up by nearly 7 per cent, despite the lower number of flights and passengers. The weak euro and the rise in pension expenses also led to an increase in staff costs of nearly 7 per cent.

Simone Menne summarised the interim report for the first three months of the year: “We see positive developments in the result and in cash flow. This shows we are on the right course. At the same time, we continue to see great pressure to act. The enormous pension burdens are putting considerable pressure on our equity. And we cannot accept the continuing increase in fees or the development of our unit costs. Great efforts remain to be made here in order to strengthen the international competitiveness of all the business segments of the Lufthansa Group.”

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Swiss and Lufthansa Cargo did better than in the same quarter than the previous year. The aging Swiss Airbus A340-300s will be replaced with the new Boeing 777-300 ERs on order. A340-313 HB-JMK (msn 169) taxies at the Zurich hub.

Swiss aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Swiss to reinvent itself as the “Next-Generation Airline of Switzerland” with 22 new European routes and a new cabin design

Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) is reinventing its European network with 22 new routes from Zurich for the next summer season and a new cabin look. The new strategy is called the “Next-Generation Airline of Switzerland”. The airline issued this statement:

Swiss (styled as “SWISS”) will be investing billions of Swiss francs in advanced aircraft, attractive destinations and further product enhancements over the next few years as part of its “Next-Generation Airline of Switzerland” strategy. The airline will be adding 22 new European destinations to its Zurich network with the start of the 2015 summer schedules, and will also be commencing a new Geneva-Lugano service. On board, meanwhile, the carrier will introduce a new-look cabin on its European Airbus fleet from the end of November onwards, along with fresh new Swiss products for its inflight foodservice in the Swiss Economy cabin.

Swiss, The Airline of Switzerland, will be investing several billion Swiss francs in its aircraft fleet and in making its products and services even more appealing to its guests. In doing so, it will also be putting an even firmer focus on the Swiss population’s air travel needs, and on keeping Switzerland even better connected with the world.

New European destinations from Zurich and Geneva

From the start of the 2015 summer schedules, Swiss will be supplementing its traditional hub concept with a new point-to-point system and expanding its Zurich-based European network through the addition of 22 new destinations. Sixteen of the new points – Naples, Bari, Bilbao, Porto, Toulouse, Leipzig, Dresden, Graz, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Riga, Krakow, Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Sofia and Zagreb – will be provided with year-round service, while six of them – Palermo, Brindisi, Malta, Thessaloniki, Izmir and Santiago de Compostela – will be served in the summer months. Parallel to this, Swiss will also be expanding its range of services from and to Geneva, with the addition of 16 weekly Geneva-Lugano flights. The innovations will give Swiss a highly attractive timetable with more nonstop connections than ever, to meet the needs of the Swiss people, the Swiss economy and the Swiss tourist sector.

Refurbishment of the European Airbus fleet

Swiss will also be introducing extensive innovations for its European aircraft fleet. Work will begin this November on a number of enhancements to its Airbus A320s and A321s that will also increase their seating capacity. By adopting a new type of seat which offers more legroom than at present, the new configurations will offer passengers the same comfort levels as today, and even more comfort in the Business Class section. At the same time, capacity will be increased by 12 seats on the A320 and by 19 seats on the A321. The new cabin interiors (including the seat covers) will also be modified to the style already seen in the Swiss Lounges and on the long-haul fleet. The first A320-family aircraft with the new-style cabin will be back in service towards the end of November.

New Swiss Economy foodservice on European flights

The refurbishment of the European Airbus fleet will also see the adoption of a new foodservice concept for the Swiss Economy cabin. Under the new approach, all the products will be sourced fresh daily from local Swiss producers. And these will include – depending on the flight’s length – warm quiches, fresh bakery items or (on longer flights) fresh salads and warm desserts. The meals will also be served in an attractive new packaging. As a result of these innovations, Swiss will now offer quality Swiss products in Swiss Economy on all European flights.

Billions of investment in one of the most advanced aircraft fleets

Swiss is continuously investing in its aircraft fleet. On the short- and medium-haul front the airline will be taking delivery of 30 new Bombardier CS100s from next year onwards to replace the present Avro (BAe) RJ100 fleet. The Airbus fleet will be further expanded with the arrival of a new Airbus A321ceo in 2016. And between 2019 and 2022 Swiss will add ten state-of-the-art new Airbus A320neos and five Airbus A321neos to its fleet to replace ten of its older A320s and five A321s. Swiss also holds ten further options on A320neo-family aircraft. And on the long-haul front, six Boeing 777-300 ERs will join the Swiss fleet from 2016 onwards. All in all, the new aircraft represent a total investment of some CHF 5 billion.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 HB-JLT (msn 5518) with Sharklets arrives in Brussels.

Swiss: AG Slide Show

 

Swiss to drop the Zurich-Kiev route on October 1

Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) will drop the Zurich-Kiev route on October 1. It currently operates five flights a week with Airbus A320 family aircraft.

The airline issued this short statement:

Swiss will be withdrawing its present Zurich-Kiev service with effect from October 1. The service is being terminated for economic reasons, as business on the route has failed to develop in line with expectations. The service was introduced in the 2013/14 winter schedules.

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Up-close action. Airbus A320-214 HB-JLT (msn 5518) with Sharklets touches down on the runway at the Zurich hub.

Swiss: AG Slide Show

Swiss reaches agreement with two pilot groups, names its first A320 with Sharklets “Grenchen”

Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) has issued this statement:

Swiss International Air Lines and its Aeropers and IPG pilots’ unions have reached an agreement in their negotiations on the future overall structure and working parameters for the company’s cockpit crew corps.

Swiss and its Aeropers and IPG cockpit crew unions have been in discussions since the end of last year with a view to establishing forward-looking working structures and laying the foundations for a single pilot corps. After intensive negotiations, the parties have found a viable compromise in the last few days that has met with the approval of both unions and the company.

The key issues in these discussions have been creating an integrated Swiss European and Swiss International pilot corps, efficiently introducing the new Bombardier CS100 and Boeing 777 aircraft types, sustainably maintaining Swiss’ competitive edge, securing cockpit jobs and establishing and developing the company’s new Geneva crew base.

The agreement reached will now be used to work out the corresponding amendments to the collective labour agreements (CLAs) of the two pilot corps between now and the end of this year. These amendments will then be presented to the unions’ respective members for approval. The aim here is to have all collaborations under the new employment parameters from April 2014 onwards.

With the result of these negotiations, and the corresponding integration of Swiss European Air Lines into Swiss International Air Lines, Swiss is both setting a vital course for its own corporate future and breaking new ground within the airline industry.

In other news, Swiss International Air Lines has named its Airbus A320 HB-JLT “Grenchen” (above) after the town in northwest Switzerland. The aircraft is something of a celebrity in the Swiss fleet: it’s the first member of Swiss’ Airbus A320 family to be equipped with sharklets, the winglets developed by the manufacturer to enhance inflight performance.

The symbolic naming ceremony was held in Grenchen and was attended by Boris Banga, the current Mayor of Grenchen, Daniel Bärlocher, Swiss’ Head of Corporate Communications and Peter Fasler, Head of Licence and Rating Training at Swiss Aviation Training subsidiary. Performing the honor was top Swiss ski jumper Simon Ammann, the four-time Olympic gold medallist, World Champion and World Cup Winner, who serves as an ambassador for watch manufacturer Breitling, which is headquartered in the town.

The sharklet-equipped HB-JLT is the 38th member of the Airbus A320 family to be delivered to Swiss. The aircraft is deployed on medium-haul routes in Europe and on services to Africa and the Middle East.

The sharklets reduce aerodynamic drag in the wingtip area. Airbus calculates that the resulting fuel savings reduce the associated carbon dioxide emissions by some 1,000 tons per aircraft per year – the equivalent of the CO2 produced by around 200 averagely-used family cars.

Copyright Photo: Nik French/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 WL HB-JLT (msn 5518) with Sharklets and a new name departs from Manchester.

Swiss: AG Slide Show