Lufthansa to continue cost cutting

Dec. 17, 2011 at 12:30 PM

FRANKFURT, Germany, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- German airline Deutsche Lufthansa said it would initiate further cost-cutting in 2012 with details it will reveal in the first quarter of the year.

"In the new and constantly changing environment in which we operate, it takes an enormous effort simply to aim to grow with the market," Lufthansa Chief Executive Officer Christoph Franz said in a company newsletter, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

Franz said the company would post a profit in 2011, but the numbers were "well below" what it needed to maintain the current operation strategy.

Cutting back has already begun. In September, the airline lowered its profit outlook for the year. In October it announced cost cuts and an expansion of its discount division Germanwings. It also said it would sell subsidiary British Midland International.

In November, the airline put a freeze on capital spending for non-airplane related expenses, the newspaper said.

"Lufthansa's margin targets are high and the economic environment is worsening," said Hartmut Moers, an analyst at WestLB Research.

Cutting costs is one of the few options left, Moers said.

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