Lufthansa posts 1.26-billion-euro loss in third quarter

Lufthansa posted a loss of 1.26 billion euros (1.49 billion dollars) for the third quarter of 2020, in figures published on Tuesday.

Widespread cancellations of flights as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, along with compensation payments to passengers of 2 billion euros, bit into profits at Germany’s main airline.

The company, in which the German state has taken a large stake to see it through the crisis, insisted it remained liquid.

Lufthansa incurred losses before interest and taxes of 1.7 billion euros in the second quarter of this year, implying an operating loss for the nine months to the end of September of 4.2 billion euros.

At this point last year, Lufthansa posted a profit of 1.72 billion euros.

Net debt at the company has risen over the year by more than 2.2 billion euros to 8.93 billion.

Nevertheless, the company’s shares rose on the news, with increased flights in July and August, and the postponement of tax payments seen as positive factors.

Continuing restrictions meant that a further increase in demand over the remaining months of the year could not be expected, the company said. Current scheduling is running at around a quarter of last year’s levels, with intercontinental traffic almost non-existent.

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