Location of Lufthansa Cargo main hub (Frankfurt Airport)
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In 2013, Lufthansa showed the first signs that its SCORE restructuring programme may be having an impact on its results. While its operating result fell from its 2012 level, this was affected by restructuring costs and project implementation costs, which should produce benefits in future years. Adjusting for these one-off costs, underlying profitability improved for the first time since 2010, mainly due to lower unit costs.
Ahead of an imminent change of leadership at the top of the group, Lufthansa has also announced a couple of small, but fairly radical, changes. First, it will separately incorporate its FFP and, second, it will bring its aircraft depreciation policy more in line with market practice.
Lufthansa is now somewhere close to half way through SCORE. Outgoing CEO Christoph Franz, who will leave on 30-Apr-2014, can be credited with instigating the programme and delivering a fairly solid start. As with all restructuring programmes, their success or failure can only really be judged when they are complete and it will be the responsibility of new CEO Carsten Spohr to steer the group to the right result at the programme’s end in 2015.
Asia Pacific, particularly China, is one of the current destination hotspots for European carriers, with connections between Europe and China improving in recent months and over the past couple of years. The initial focus was obviously on providing connectivity between key European hubs and the capital city of Beijing, with services to Shanghai also quite extensive, although a number of carriers are adding service to secondary, albeit still large destinations in China, such as Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Chongqin, Urumqi, Sancha, Dalian and Harbin.
Several airports in north-east Japan have been affected by Friday’s devastating earthquake and tsunamis. None more so than Sendai Airport, which was flooded when the tsunami struck, and remains closed. Major gateways including Tokyo Narita and Haneda resumed normal operations on Saturday.
China’s fragmented airline industry is undergoing a shakeup. Merger and acquisition activity is intense – probably more so than any other aviation market in the world. In the space of a few short years, the majority of China’s second tier airlines have, at least partially, become owned or controlled by one of the "Big Three" carriers and/or HNA Group, as consolidation accelerates in China. In this report, CAPA reviews what’s fuelling the feeding frenzy and who the targets are.
British Airways reported an operating loss of GBP231 million for the 12 months ended 31-Mar-2010, completing a dismal year for Europe’s big three airlines. Between them, BA, Air France-KLM and Lufthansa generated net losses of EUR2.16 billion*, as revenues crumbled in the face of the deepest post-war global economic recession. GBP1 billion (EUR1,155 million) was carved off BA’s annual revenue (-11.1% to GBP7,994 million, EUR9,252 million), while Air France-KLM suffered a 15% fall in revenue to EUR20,995 million. The Lufthansa Group generated revenues totaling EUR22.3 billion in 2009, down 10.3% year-on-year.
The German aviation market is a dynamic one, dominated by European giant, Lufthansa, and its host of subsidiaries, and also featuring Europe’s third largest LCC, Air Berlin, which has, like Lufthansa, also been pursuing an acquisition strategy. The market also features an assortment of smaller LCCs, regional airlines and charter carriers. The airline market is increasingly vibrant, but it was not always so. Dominated, as it still is, by Lufthansa and its satellites, competition was severely constrained until the late 1990s, when serious competition started to arrive in the form of new airlines, delivered a new scope of life under European Union principles of open skies.