Lufthansa slashes first quarter losses

FRANKFURT: German carrier Deutsche Lufthansa cut its pre-tax loss in the first quarter this year to 82 million deutschemarks (about HK$378.84 million) as its streamlining programme continued to bear fruit.

The loss was sharply lower than the shortfall of 245 million marks a year earlier.

The figures are for the parent company, which does not include Lufthansa units such as charter airline Condor and business passenger service CityLine. Separate group earnings were not released.

The improvement came on the back of an extended cost-cutting programme, the airline said. Total expenses increased by only 1.5 per cent in the three months.

''The ongoing cost reduction and capacity adjustment measures played a major role in trimming the deficit further,'' the company said.

Gross traffic revenue at the group increased by 10.7 per cent in the first quarter to 4.01 billion marks, while at the parent company traffic revenue rose 11.5 per cent to 3.58 billion marks.

Total revenue, which includes maintenance work and services provided to other airlines, rose eight per cent to 3.61 billion marks at the parent airline in the period.

Much of that growth came from strength in its cargo and long-haul passenger business, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.