Consolidated net profit of Lufthansa dropped by 44 percent to 1.2 billion euros (1.3 billion U.S. dollars) in 2019, Germany’s biggest airline announced in its financial year report published on Thursday.
Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of Lufthansa was “in line with the forecast despite considerable charges,” falling by almost 30 percent to 2 billion euros.
According to Lufthansa, “main drivers for the decline” were an increase in fuel costs and a “noticeable economic slowdown,” especially in the Lufthansa’s home markets.
The earnings had also been impacted by “high price pressure” in the European market due to overcapacity and the weakening of the global air freight market.
Only five percent of Lufthansa flights are operating for the moment because of coronavirus, said Ulrik Svensson, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Lufthansa.
Lufthansa has announced further cuts in the group’s flight operations. Its subsidiary Austrian Airlines is suspending flight operations until March 28, and Brussels Airlines would not offer any regular flights until April 19.
“The spread of the coronavirus has placed the entire global economy and our company as well in an unprecedented state of emergency,” stressed Carsten Spohr, chairman of the executive board (CEO) of Lufthansa.
“The longer this crisis lasts, the more likely it is that the future of aviation cannot be guaranteed without state aid,” he warned.
As the spread of the coronavirus is hitting many airlines throughout the world, shares of Lufthansa lost 46 percent during the last four weeks.