(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Lufthansa AG can emerge stronger from the airline industry’s worst crisis since World War II by becoming leaner, Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr said.
Europe’s largest airline group will become smaller, more efficient and use more modern planes as it manages the fallout from the pandemic that has curbed demand for travel, Spohr told reporters on Saturday at the opening of Berlin’s new airport.
“We will certainly want to maintain at least our relative market strength, and maybe even use opportunities from the crisis to improve our global position,” Spohr said.
Lufthansa, which owns former national carriers in Austria, Switzerland and Belgium, avoided insolvency with a 9 billion-euro ($10.5 billion) multi-government bailout, among the largest in Europe. More than two-thirds of those funds remain available to help it manage the crisis.
To cut costs, Lufthansa has switched to leasing more aircraft, retiring older, fuel-guzzling jets and paring its fleet by about 150 planes to reflect lower demand, especially for lucrative business travel. It’s also trying to sell its catering business abroad, and is considering divesting a minority stake in its aircraft-maintenance arm.
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