The crisis creates unexpected feelings.

"It has not been the case for a long time, that I am looking forward to a long-haul flight two weeks in advance," admits Carsten Spohr, CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa.

Most recently it was probably at the beginning of his career, when he sat in the cockpit more often as a pilot and not on the boardroom, says the 54-year-old Spohr.

In less than two weeks he will be traveling across the Atlantic to Chicago again.

Other travelers are sure to tingle a bit when they fly again after a long break.

Timo Kotowski

Editor in business.

  • Follow I follow

However, regular German Lufthansa customers cannot currently experience the tingling sensation before crossing the Atlantic.

Spohr will be on a business tour with a special permit, and citizens from Germany are still banned from entering the USA.

Lufthansa therefore lacks business.

Nobody in the group wants to make a forecast of when America will open.

Originally one had hoped for it for the summer.

The perspectives when looking east are similarly unclear.

A restart of the China traffic without major restrictions is not expected until 2022.

Lufthansa share price falls

However, Spohr does not see the goal of reaching around 40 percent of pre-crisis business for the entire year in 2021. However, holiday flights to the Mediterranean and intra-European routes are now particularly important. The once lucrative long-haul business remains on hold. "We are preparing for another long, hard winter for us as an airline," says Spohr.

On the stock exchange, this prospect means that the price of the Lufthansa share will fall.

On Tuesday she was one of the big losers in the M-Dax with a minus of around 2 percent.

The Lufthansa paper slipped to its lowest level since November 2020, before hopes were boosted by vaccines.

An analysis by the Metzler bank contributed to this.

Investors were worried about vaccination breakthroughs - cases of people who became infected despite being vaccinated - it says.

"While DAX companies are celebrating records again, we are happy to currently achieve 50 percent of pre-crisis business," says Spohr.

Nevertheless, the group creates a positive cash flow in the summer.

Before the pandemic, this would have been almost impossible with such a reduced business, but now it is possible thanks to the savings efforts of the past few months.

Cargo division on record course

Lufthansa Cargo's freight business is doing much better.

"Anything below an operating result of one billion euros will not be accepted," says Spohr jokingly in the direction of the logistics division.

In fact, it would be a historic record.

When he moved into the group's executive board about a decade ago, an adjusted operating profit before interest and taxes of one billion euros was the goal for the entire group.

In 2021, Lufthansa Cargo had already met Spohr's new target by almost two-thirds by the end of June.

The freight division benefits from the fact that there are fewer side loading options on passenger flights during the corona pandemic and that the more time-consuming sea transport has become more expensive due to bottlenecks.

The fact that the recovery is dragging on for the entire group does not come as a surprise, said Spohr. "There were many misjudgments in the pandemic, one was always correct: We in aviation were the first to be affected and will be the last to come out." , Stefan Oschmann, also invited Spohr in spring 2020. At the time, the pharmaceutical managers were unanimously of the opinion that a pandemic would last two years. "They weren't that wrong back then," says Spohr. He is now concerned that Lufthansa not only somehow survives the crisis, but also counts among the top 5 airlines in the world afterwards.

Keywords: