German flag carrier Lufthansa has booked a quarterly bottom-line profit after reporting a loss in the same quarter last year. The result comes despite a series of walkouts by the airline's pilots.
Net profit for the first quarter came in at 425 million euros ($473 million), compared with a loss of 252 million euros during the same quarter last year.
"All operating business segments were able to increase their results in the first quarter. Above all, Swiss and Lufthansa Cargo have done better than in the previous year," Chief Financial Officer Simone Menne said. Turnover rose by 8 percent to just under 7 billion euros.
On an operating level, Lufthansa managed to reduce losses to 167 million euros from 240 million euros during the same quarter last year. Menne said the airline was still grappling with "enormous pension burdens," huge fees and unit costs.
"Great efforts remain to be made here in order to strengthen the international competitiveness of all the business segments of the Lufthansa group," she said.
The airline is currently involved in a bitter labor dispute with its pilots over their early retirement rules. A series of walkouts organized by the pilots' unioncost Lufthansa 42 million euros
The airline said the recent crash of aGermanwings aircraft in France in late March
did not affect the bottom line, as the financial repercussions were covered by insurance. The crash only led to a temporary lull in bookings at Germanwings.
For the full year, the airline still expects a profit of 1.5 billion euros.
ng/hg (Reuters, AFP, dpa)