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Published on Thursday, March 4, 2021

Lufthansa slumps to record annual loss

Europe's largest airline group Lufthansa says it will struggle to turn an operational profit on flights this year as it posted a record €6.7 billion annual loss.

Its near-term fortunes will be dependent on a successful vaccine rollout in the markets it flies to, the airline said.

Last year was 'the most challenging in the history of our company.'

It posted €1.1 billion fourth-quarter net loss as revenue dropped 71%.

It expects to have only 40-50% of pre-pamdemic capacity this year and is mulling retiring more older aircraft.

Still, following a multi-billion euro bailout, it has enough cash 'to withstand a market environment that remains difficult,' Chief Financial Officer Remco Steenbergen said.

Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr said there could still be a rebound this summer but that is heavily dependent on vaccine rollout progress and a workable 'vaccine passport' scheme.

"We expect demand to pick up again as soon as restrictive travel limits are reduced by a further roll-out of tests and vaccines. Internationally recognized, digital vaccination and test certificates must take the place of travel bans and quarantine," Spohr said in a statement.


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