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Lufthansa more than doubles 2023 profits in COVID rebound

March 7, 2024

Germany's national carrier Lufthansa has announced bumper profits for 2023, more than twice as much as the previous year. The data comes as the airline faces a fresh round of employee strike action.

A Lufthansa Airbus A319 passenger aircraft with registration D AILC taking off from Berlin Brandenburg
It's a second straight year of profits for the group, following on from two years of losses Image: IMAGO/Olaf Schuelke

The German airline Lufthansa more than doubled its profits in 2023, figures released on Thursday showed, as another round of worker pay strikes affected passengers.

Germany's national carrier saw its profit margin surge above an already-healthy increase the previous year as international aviation recovered from the coronavirus pandemic.

How the figures break down

Lufthansa reported a net profit of €1.67 billion ($1.82 billion) for 2023, far exceeding a figure of €791 million in 2022. 

It is a second straight year of profits for the group — which includes the subsidiaries Eurowings, Austrian, Swiss and Brussels Airlines — after two years of losses because of COVID-19-related border closures.

Revenue soared by 15% to more than €35 billion, while a total of 123 million passengers flew with Lufthansa and its daughter airlines — up 20% from a year earlier but still below pre-pandemic record levels.

"The Lufthansa group has regained its financial strength," chief executive Carsten Spohr said in a statement, adding that 2023 was "one of the three best years in Lufthansa group's history."

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Shareholders to get dividends as workers strike

Lufthansa, fully back in private hands after it was bailed out by the German government in 2020, has said it wants to pay shareholders a dividend for the first time since 2019.

The group says, in its outlook for the current year, that it expects sales to increase significantly and operating profit to be on the same level as 2023, despite the ongoing wave of strikes.

The airline said that, for the first quarter of this year, it expected to make a loss because of the impact of strikes and a general decline in profits for the logistics division.

The Verdi union — which represents some 25,000 airline ground staff  — is demanding a 12.5% pay raise or at least €500 ($545) more per month. The union also wants a group-wide inflation compensation bonus of €3,000.

rc/kb,ab (AFP, Reuters)

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