The Perfect Enemy | Lufthansa returns to profits after COVID-19 slump - Xinhua
February 17, 2024

A Lufthansa airplane prepares to land at Frankfurt airport in Frankfurt, Germany, on Jan. 17, 2022. (Xinhua/Lu Yang)

The country’s air traffic is set to pick up even further in 2023, according to the German Aviation Association (BDL).

BERLIN, March 4 (Xinhua) — After two consecutive years of losses, Germany’s flagship airline Lufthansa said on Friday it had once again made a profit in 2022, as international air traffic recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to “strong increase in demand for air travel over the course of the year,” the Lufthansa Group almost doubled its revenues year-on-year to 32.8 billion euros (34.9 billion U.S. dollars). Net income was 791 million euros, after hitting minus 2.2 billion euros in the previous year.

As COVID-19 related restrictions on air traffic have been dropped worldwide, Germany also dropped requirements of people arriving from China to take a COVID-19 test. Across the European Union (EU), such requirement was dropped by the end of February.

A man wearing a face mask sits on a seat at an international airport in Frankfurt, Germany, on March 18, 2021.  (Xinhua/Lu Yang)

Last year, Lufthansa’s passenger numbers more than doubled year-on-year to 102 million, the airline said. At the beginning of 2022, earnings were still being “heavily impacted” by the spread of the Omicron variant and the associated restrictions.

When the COVID-19 pandemic crippled global air traffic in 2021, Lufthansa was kept afloat by state aid and guarantees of up to 9 billion euros. All loans have since been fully repaid, the company said, and the German government has sold its 20 percent stake in the airline.

Meanwhile, the country’s air traffic is set to pick up even further in 2023, according to the German Aviation Association (BDL). Capacity on intercontinental and European routes to and from Germany will reach 88 percent of 2019 pre-pandemic levels, BDL said.

Photo taken on Nov. 4, 2022 shows the German Bundestag in the glow of the sunset in Berlin, capital of Germany. (Xinhua/Ren Pengfei)

Air traffic in other European countries should already recover by the summer of this year. According to BDL, point-to-point airlines had reduced their services at medium-sized airports in Germany because of “comparatively high location costs,” including air traffic taxes, fees and security checks. (1 euro = 1.06 U.S. dollar)