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Lufthansa reports first-quarter losses amid slower air traffic

German airline Lufthansa has reported a first quarter net loss of more than a quarter of a billion euros as the financial crisis eats away at the global travel and freight industries.

Two Lufthansa jets on the tarmac

The airline still has hopes of positive earnings for 2009

The airline's loss of 256 million euros ($340 million) for the January-March period compares with a net profit of 44 million euros in the first quarter of 2008.

The company said in a statement that revenues in the period fell by 11 percent to 5 billion euros from 5.6 billion euros in last year's first quarter.

With the global recession continuing unabated, Lufthansa said it expected diminished revenues to continue for the remainder of the year. It said however that it still hoped to report positive earnings for the full year.

"In the absence of signs that demand will recover in the short term a decline in revenue is also expected for the full year, which will be accompanied by a considerable reduction in the operating result," Lufthansa said in a statement.

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