The corona virus pandemic is making life even more difficult for Lufthansa than originally thought. This crisis will “last significantly longer than we could all have imagined a few weeks ago,” said Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr in an internal video message to the employees. Lufthansa loses “approximately one million euros” of its liquidity reserves per hour: “Day and night. Week after week and probably even month after month.”
So it is foreseeable: “We will not be able to survive this increasingly long-lasting crisis without state support,” said Spohr. However, he is optimistic that the group’s talks “in Bern, Berlin, Brussels and Vienna” will lead to good and positive results.
Lufthansa is not only negotiating state aid in Germany, but also in Switzerland, Belgium and Austria because of its subsidiaries Swiss, Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines.
Radical reduction in flight operations
Spohr thanked the employees “that we were able to face this unique crisis with high financial reserves of over four billion euros”. This is “thanks to all of your good work in recent years”. However, some of the reserves also belonged to “our customers, who have already paid for flights scheduled for the next few months,” said the CEO.
With a radical reduction in flight operations and numerous cost-cutting measures such as short-time work, Lufthansa has already “massively” cut costs, said Spohr. On the other hand, only a fraction of the usual daily income is available.
“Our Lufthansa is in a fight for its future line-up,” said Spohr. “It is without a doubt the greatest challenge we have ever faced in our 65-year history.”
Lufthansa announced on Tuesday that it was closing its subsidiary Germanwings due to the crisis and shrinking its fleet by more than 40 aircraft. Worldwide, Lufthansa has registered or planned short-time work for 87,000 of a total of 135,000 employees and thus for around two thirds of the Group’s workforce.