After big loss, Lufthansa Cargo sees better times ahead
Lufthansa Cargo ended the 2009 business year with an operating loss of 171 million Euros. In the toughest year in company history, revenues slumped by almost a third to around 1.95 billion Euros.
In the present year, the Company is aiming to post a significantly better operating result. Short time working, introduced at the Company on 1 March 2009, is to be discontinued, initially in April and May. Depending on business developments, it is to be ended finally in September.
Lufthansa Cargo Chairman and CEO Carsten Spohr, emphasised at the Company’s annual press conference that only early capacity cuts and comprehensive crisis management had averted appreciably higher losses, enabling the Company to keep all its staff on board. “In comparison with the previous year, we lost a billion Euros in revenues, plunging the Company into an absolutely exceptional situation. That we managed to make good about two-thirds of our lost earnings is an achievement of which all Lufthansa Cargo employees can be proud.”
In the current year, the Company is looking ahead, Spohr noted. “Ongoing market developments are giving rise to a degree of optimism for 2010. The crisis has bottomed out and demand is rising steeply. We are experiencing a marked upswing especially in Asia.“
“The airfreight industry has lost four years of growth in the crisis. Cost discipline will, therefore, remain essential for success in the present year.” Unit costs at Lufthansa Cargo are to be cut by ten per cent by trimming company organisation and making processes more efficient. At the same time, Lufthansa Cargo will be seeking to raise earnings by a minimum of 20 per cent.
At the press conference on the year’s result, Chairman Carsten Spohr again expressed the wish to invest long term in Germany as an operating base. “Lufthansa Cargo is a motor for the German export industry. We want to further expand that role and invest three-digit million in Euros in a new and highly modern freight centre in Frankfurt.” But that depends on planning security, said Spohr, referring to the dispute over an outright ban on night flights at Frankfurt Airport. “The Federal Government has expressed a clear commitment to internationally competitive operating hours in the agreement on the coalition. It is imperative that the issue is dealt with promptly in Berlin.“ The company has demonstratively detailed the need for 23 night flights in 2020. “Cargo needs the night. The Frankfurt hub will remain competitive only if we are enabled to transport goods produced during the day.”