Lufthansa Boss Spohr Does not Want to Take Full Advantage of the State Aid

According to CEO Carsten Spohr, Lufthansa may not need all of the nine billion euros in state aid in the fight against the corona crisis.

The Lufthansa CEO believes in a strong summer and a quick comeback for the aviation companies. The traffic figures are falling significantly.

Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr is currently assuming that the company will have to call on all of the state aid. “Personally, I don’t think we need the entire nine billion euros,” said Carsten Spohr during a virtual discussion by the European air navigation service provider Eurocontrol.

Spohr had already made it clear on other occasions that so far only three billion euros of aid had been drawn and only a small part of it had been used up. The largest European airline group started the year with a liquidity cushion of a good ten billion euros.

At the same time, aviation is at an absolute low, as data from Eurocontrol show. While there were 9,842 flights in Europe on January 11, the number dropped to 8,397 by January 17. Compared with the value a year earlier, this is only 35.5 percent of flights in normal times.

In order to receive the slots for the next season, they have to be used to at least 80 percent during normal times, otherwise they would be re-assigned by the supervisory authorities. The slot rules were and are worldwide suspended due to the Corona crisis. The EU, on the other hand, has proposed for the summer flight schedule that at least 40 percent of these must be used in order to maintain the slots.

So far, the hoped-for recovery in air traffic has not been achieved due to new corona mutations and the continued travel restrictions. Eurocontrol boss Eammon Brennan put the current European traffic at only 14 percent of the level from the previous year. February was going to get worse, said the pilot representative. According to Spohr, the Lufthansa Group has set itself up for a total annual output of between 40, 50 or 60 percent in three scenarios. A strong recovery as a result of increased vaccinations and more tests will be experienced “sometime in the summer,” said the Lufthansa boss.