Lufthansa supports common regulations for European airspace

Friday 30, April 2010


Lufthansa supports common regulations for European airspace


Chairman and CEO Mayrhuber: “Single European Sky more necessary than ever”. Executive Board looks back on highly challenging, but well mastered year 2009 at AGM.



At this year's Lufthansa Annual General Meeting in Berlin, Lufthansa Group Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber presented the Group's figures for 2009 to the shareholders saying: "The past year with its far-reaching economic consequences for the aviation industry was one of the most challenging years in its history. It is therefore all the more gratifying that the Group managed to post a positive operating result of 130 million euros in these conditions; that despite the major impact of the financial and economic crisis we were able to strengthen our position against the competition and; that we set the right strategic course. Our finances are solid and our business segments provide us with stability and a broad base." In his speech to the shareholders, Mayrhuber said: "All of the business segments have made adjustments to capacities and costs, and thus improved efficiency. However, due to the financial and economic crisis, the Group result was still a negative one. It was marked by an unprecedentedly high decline in revenues. Value creation was out of the question during the past highly challenging year." In view of the negative Group result and the altogether uncertain economic development, the Group Executive and Supervisory Board proposed to the shareholders not to pay out a dividend. "Paying out a dividend and draining our resources would be irresponsible," added Mayrhuber.


Speaking on the recent events surrounding the volcano eruption on Iceland, the Lufthansa Chairman and CEO stated: "The lockdown of airspace did not only hit the airlines, but the entire economy. Today we know that the danger situation was entirely overrated and the consequences of this were severely underestimated." The Lufthansa Chairman and CEO called for the lessons of the past days to be learned saying: "The experience of the past weeks has ruthlessly revealed that we require a pan-European concept to deal with such situations. The Single European Sky is more necessary than ever. However, a swift introduction of something that has now been discussed for decades is still not yet within sight. We must take prompt action here in the interest of Europe." He added that the topics in question had immediately been addressed with the political and regulatory decision-makers at national and EU level. This also included issues such as the costs for the care of thousands of passengers for many days in the event of a natural disaster or corresponding compensation. The Lufthansa Chairman and CEO stressed: "We are not asking for subsidies; Lufthansa never asked for them in the past either. It is far more the urgent need for an EU-wide standardized treatment of the incurred losses, relief with regard to the fees and charges, or a postponement of the starting date for the emissions trading that is scheduled to begin in 2012 that needs to be addressed. All the data material that the system was to be based on has now been completely mixed up. The year 2010 is therefore no longer suited as the basis for the calculation of certificate allocation."


Referring to the Group's economic situation, the Lufthansa Chairman and CEO said: "The development of sales was again better during the first quarter." He added however that the economic and financial crisis, the hard winter, the striking pilots and the effects of the volcano eruption on Iceland had all taken their toll on the company. Mayrhuber nevertheless remained convinced that: "Lufthansa will also fly through this crisis successfully. There are positive signs for a market recovery in the intercontinental segment and clear indications of an improvement in the cargo business. The demand for mobility shall continue to grow and Lufthansa's service and quality will remain the best in the future." Mayrhuber stressed that it remains the aspiration of the Group to record a positive operating result for the current year that is above the previous year's result.




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