Lufthansa's big ambitions after the crisis

Lufthansa wants to keep thinking bigger, even bigger than before. Lundi 14 juin, le groupe, premier du transport Aérien in Europe, a fait savoir qu’il s’était fixé un objectif bien précis: être plus rentable en 2024 qu’il ne l’était en 2019. Et ce, alors qu’ il se relève encore de la crise économique liée à la pandémie de coronavirus, et qu’il s’apprête à opérer une levée de fonds dans le but de rembourser l’aide publique qui lui a justement permis la d’é viter Epidemic. In a press release, he said the group is “targeting an average operating margin of at least 8% in 2024.” For comparison, in 2019, a year before the outbreak of the pandemic, Lufthansa had a margin of 5.6%.

Last year, the group, which also includes Swiss and Austrian airlines and Brussels Airlines, posted a record net loss of 6.7 billion euros. In the first quarter of this year, he lost another billion. But the Frankfurt-based company intends to save money to emerge stronger from this unprecedented crisis for the sector. Through a large-scale restructuring, the company will lay off 150 aircraft by 2023, and it has already cut nearly 25,000 jobs in one year.

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However, by 2024, the company should face a slow recovery: On average this year, it expects supply to be only close to 40% of its pre-pandemic level, despite a sharp increase in summer demand. This key indicator, which represents the number of seats available for reservation, alignment by the company to the expected demand, reached 31% in 2020. It must reach 50% in order for the group to be able to cover its costs. The administration has set in 2022 70%, then 80% in 2023 and semi-normal in 2024.

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An increase of up to 5.5 billion euros

Lufthansa also announced on Monday that it had tasked the banks with preparing a “potential” capital increase, the principle of which was approved by the general meeting in early May. Shareholders allowed donations of up to 5.5 billion euros, although CFO Rimko Steenbergen insisted the amount be “as small as possible”. No decision has been made on the “rise and (moment)” of this measure at the moment, the press release specifies, while the amount should be around €3 billion according to the media.

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L’Etat allemand, qui détient 20% du capital depuis le sauvetage de la compagnie l’année passée, “envisage” de participer à cette augmentation de capital sans injecter d’argent supplémentaire dans le cadre d’une “opération” the group. Berlin’s position on the capital increase, which is aimed at repaying public aid, is discussed within the government coalition.

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