Deutsche Lufthansa AG
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- Deutsche Lufthansa AG
Lufthansa Aviation Center
60546 Frankfurt / Main
Ph: +49 69 696 28010
Swiss Global Air Lines
Deutsche Lufthansa AG is a global aviation group which operates in five primary business segments: Passenger air transport, logistics, MRO, catering and IT services. Originally established in Jan-1926, Deutsche Lufthansa AG maintains its Corporate headquarters in Cologne, Germany while several departments are located in the Lufthansa Aviation Center at Frankfurt Airport. The company is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FWB: LHA).
Although Lufthansa is involved in a range of industry segments, its core business is the provision of passenger air transport services, with the collective passenger airline group accounting for over two-thirds of the company's total revenue. These services are delivered through its numerous airline subsidiaries.
Deutsche Lufthansa AG holds majority stakes in a number of airlines including:
- Deutsche Lufthansa AG (100%, since 1954)
- Lufthansa CityLine GmbH (100%, since Mar-1992)
- Lufthansa Cargo AG (100%, since 1994)
- Air Dolomiti S.p.A. (100%, since Jul-2003)
- Eurowings Luftverkehrs AG (100%, since 1-Apr-2004)
- Eurowings Europe GmbH (23-Jun-2016)
- Swiss International Air Lines (Swiss Global Air Lines) (100%, since 1-Jul-2007)
- Edelweiss Air AG (100%, since Nov-2008)
- Germanwings GmbH (100% since 1-Jan-2009)
- Austrian Airlines AG (100%, since Sep-2009)
- Tyrolean Airways Tiroler Luftfahrt GmbH (merged with Austrian on 01-Apr-2015)
Deutsche Lufthansa AG also holds minority stakes in a number of airlines including:
- SunExpress (50%, since Apr-1990)
- Brussels Airlines (45%, since 15-Sep-2008)
- Aerologic GmbH (50%, since 19-Jun-2009)
Lufthansa share price
7,427 total articles
402 total articles
From 2009 to 2015 SWISS accounted for 47% of the operating profits produced by all the airlines in the Lufthansa Passenger Airline Group, and 29% for the Lufthansa Group overall. It has also consistently been the Group's most profitable airline in margin terms. In 2015 it even managed to post a higher margin than Lufthansa's MRO business – traditionally a much more robust and profitable activity than most airlines.
Nevertheless, SWISS seems now to be struggling to maintain these achievements. Its passenger load factor, while still the highest in the group, is on the decline. Revenue is falling and SWISS suffered a drop in margin in 1Q2016. The seasonally weak 1Q may not say too much about prospects for the full year, but Lufthansa expects SWISS to report a slightly lower adjusted EBIT in 2016 relative to 2015.
With four new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft now in SWISS' long haul fleet and the first Bombardier C Series due to join its short haul fleet imminently, SWISS is not standing still.
One swallow does not make a spring and nor does a rash of aviation strike news guarantee a turning point for the aviation industry. But the signs are ominous. In the month of Jun-2016 (to 20-Jun-2016), there have been 136 articles on CAPA's website mentioning the word 'strike'. This compares with 81 for the first 20 days of Jun-2015. For 2016 so far (1-Jan-2016 to 20-Jun-2016), the 's' word has occurred in 594 articles – about 20% more than in the same period in each of the past two years. If this rate continues, 2016 could be the biggest year for strike-related articles since before the global financial crisis.
The vast majority of the Jun-2016 articles – 80% – relate to Europe. A significant source is air traffic control disputes, particularly French ATC. There have also been strikes and/or strike threats involving airport workers and ground handlers. Among European airlines, Air France has generated the most coverage for its ongoing dispute with its pilots, and it may also face a cabin crew strike. Lufthansa has not yet faced a strike by its employees this year, but has not yet reached new agreements with pilots or cabin crew after industrial action last year.
History tells us that labour's demands grow as profits rise. The apparent increase in industrial action this year could be a signal of an approaching peak in the airline profit cycle. There are other causes of unrest, such as impending French labour legislation, but the correlation reflects some history.
In a 10-Jun-2016 presentation to equity analysts in London Lufthansa's Karl Ulrich Garnadt, the executive board member responsible for Eurowings, talked of his excitement for this "very ambitious, far reaching, very important" project for the Lufthansa Group. The group is developing an innovative partnership approach to allow other airlines to join its LCC activities under the Eurowings brand.
In 2011 the combined Lufthansa/Germanwings non-hub point-to-point network served 110 destinations and offered 24 million seats, of which only approximately nine million were operated by the LCC subsidiary. In 2016 the new Eurowings network has 135 destinations and offers 26 million seats (this comprises those operated by Eurowings and those yet to be transferred from Germanwings, while none are operated by Lufthansa).
The transfer of traffic from Lufthansa to Germanwings helped to turn around losses of more than EUR200 million. Germanwings' traffic and fleet are now progressively being transferred to the lower-cost Eurowings – the umbrella brand for the group's LCC operations. Germanwings/Eurowings achieves a RASK premium compared with other European LCCs. However, its low margin suggests that this is not enough by comparison with its CASK, which will remain higher than those of other LCCs.
airberlin's 2015 losses highlighted its ongoing struggle to find a successful model. In 2012 airberlin received investment from Etihad (also entering into a close commercial partnership with it) and joined oneworld. These moves have brought it benefits in terms of traffic and revenue, but traffic and revenue continue to shrink and airberlin has remained loss-making.
Since 2011 airberlin has cut capacity heavily on the short/medium haul network (particularly in domestic markets). Short/medium haul still dominates airberlin's operation, but it is now growing its long haul network aggressively by adding capacity to North America and the Caribbean. Squeezed between lower-cost LCC competition on short/medium haul routes on the one hand, and legacy airlines with bigger long haul networks on the other, it is also now facing low cost long haul competition from Lufthansa's Eurowings.
On 31-May-2016 the Etihad Aviation Group CEO, James Hogan, said: “airberlin has faced greater challenges and has taken longer than we expected to reach sustainable profitability, but the underlying fundamentals of the business are trending in the right direction." Etihad's investment has been critical to airberlin's survival and the airline has, so far, remained committed to the relationship. However, there is only so much that Etihad can do from the outside. airberlin needs internal solutions.
Among the challenges in the continuing weak air freight market is the role of Gulf airlines moving freight between Europe and Asia. Gulf airlines have already well proven themselves adept at moving people between many markets (some argue unprofitably so) but though their role in freight is quieter it is not without consequences.
Gulf airlines can offer dedicated freighter flights from cargo hubs to their home bases, where cargo is then transferred to lower-cost passenger belly space. European and Asian airlines typically fly freighter aircraft, with more expensive costs, over the entire journey. As a result, freighter flights between Asia and Europe have significantly decreased. Gulf airlines have bulked up freighters since 2012, in addition to doubling passenger flights to Europe and Asia since about 2010, creating ample belly space for freight.
In response to this is a growing, but still small, number of joint ventures, including Lufthansa-ANA and IAG-Qatar. Both were comfortably within Star and oneworld alliance groupings, but a recent JV formation between Star's Lufthansa and oneworld's Cathay Pacific indicates that solutions to the weak cargo market must be deeper.
Over 20 years the responses of Europe's big three legacy groups to the short/medium haul LCC revolution have all been through phases of denial, submission, retreat, and counter-attack.
Now all three now have a more clearly defined LCC strategy than in the past. IAG, with Vueling and Iberia Express, has the largest, most pan-European and most profitable LCC, helping the group to grow its short/medium haul traffic. The Lufthansa and Air France-KLM LCCs are more defensive, to preserve market share. Both have only recently started LCC bases outside their original home markets. Lufthansa (after a false start with high cost Germanwings, now transferring to Eurowings) has replaced mainline capacity with LCC capacity, route-for-route. Air France-KLM has grown Transavia while cutting mainline capacity, but without substitutions route-for-route.
Only Lufthansa has taken its LCC onto long haul routes, albeit on a limited scale. Facing the more complex challenges on long haul, all three are developing a growing range of partnerships with other airlines. They have also sought to improve labour productivity in their legacy network airlines, with varying degrees of success, but again led by IAG. A next step may even be to connect with their arch rivals.