Lufthansa upbeat as leisure travel demand remains high


Illustration shows Lufthansa logo

Lufthansa logo is seen displayed in this illustration taken, May 3, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

  • Lufthansa sees 2023 adj EBIT at more than 2.6 bln euros
  • Q2 adj EBIT 1.09 bln euros vs consensus 1.04 bln
  • Aug-Dec bookings at more than 90% of pre-crisis levels

BERLIN, Aug 3 (Reuters) – German airline group Deutsche Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) on Thursday said it expected high demand for travel, especially in premium classes, to continue for the rest of the year as it reported a jump in second-quarter revenue and profits.

Bookings for August to December were on average at more than 90% of pre-pandemic levels, prompting Lufthansa to expand its capacity to 88% of the 2019 level in the third quarter, the group said.

Airlines have benefited from a boom in leisure travel since the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, though there has been concern that the surge in demand – and resulting strong earnings – could lose momentum in the autumn season as high inflation starts to squeeze passenger spending.

Lufthansa rival IAG (ICAG.L) last month said it was “mindful” of uncertainty in the wider economy, even as it reported consensus-beating quarterly profit, and Ryanair (RYA.I) was cautious on demand for the rest of 2023.

Lufthansa, which owns the Austrian Airlines, SWISS and Eurowings carriers, seemed more upbeat on the market outlook, saying it was returning two more A380s to scheduled service this year, with more to follow along with new Boeing 787s and Airbus A350s in the coming year.

On long-haul routes, it said the increase in capacity would primarily come from the expansion of connections to Asia, given the re-opening of major markets such as China and Japan.

In April to June, Lufthansa’s adjusted earnings before interest and tax nearly tripled to 1.09 billion euros ($1.19 billion), slightly above consensus for 1.04 billion, from 341 million a year earlier.

For the full year 2023, it now expects adjusted EBIT to come to more than 2.6 billion euros, having previously forecast a significant increase from last year’s 1.5 billion.

($1 = 0.9148 euros)

Reporting by Maria Sheahan
Editing by Miranda Murray and Friederike Heine

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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