Travel restrictions

Lufthansa returns to profits as travel restrictions relax

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Lufthansa on Wednesday posted a return to third-quarter operating profit for the first time since the coronavirus crisis, supported by easing travel restrictions and strong demand during the summer season .

The group reported adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 17 million euros ($ 19.69 million) in the quarter, down from a loss of 1.262 billion euros a year earlier.

Analysts in a survey provided by the company expected an adjusted EBIT loss of 33 million euros.

The company’s third-quarter revenue nearly doubled to 5.2 billion euros, from 5.5 billion euros forecast by analysts.

“We have taken a new step in our way out of the crisis: we have gone back to black,” Managing Director Carsten Spohr said in a statement.

Lufthansa, which also owns Eurowings, Swiss, Brussels and Austrian Airlines, said it expects a positive development in demand, leading to positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the fourth quarter.

He said third-quarter capacity, measured in available seat-kilometers, was 50% of the pre-crisis level. He expects the 2022 capacity to increase to over 70% of the 2019 level.

New bookings are currently at 80% of 2019 level, the airline said, driven by the resumption of business bookings and growing demand for long-haul flights, especially to the United States, which will open. to travelers from Europe next week.

Lufthansa’s air freight business posted a record Adjusted EBIT of € 301 million in the quarter, as air freight demand and rates increased due to sea freight bottlenecks and disruption in supply chains. global supply.

Lufthansa shares are expected to rise 3.4% in pre-market trading.

($ 1 = 0.8634 euros)

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa, editing by Emma Thomasson and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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