Lufthansa repays in advance €1,5 billion of state aid
German airline Lufthansa has repaid part of the state aid it received during the corona crisis following a capital increase as planned. Lufthansa confirmed this on Monday. By issuing new shares, the airline could carry out a capital increase of 2,15 billion euros gross. This enables Lufthansa to repay 1,5 billion euros to the German WSF support fund.
By the end of the year, Lufthansa wants to cough up another billion. The airline already repaid a one billion euros loan from the state-owned KfW in February.
Nine billion euros aid
Lufthansa had obtained an envelope of 9 billion euros for its rescue plan to help it through the difficult period when the coronavirus epidemic almost stopped air traffic. Six billion euros of aid came from the German state, the other 3 billion euros of state aid from subsidiaries in Austria, Switzerland, and Belgium – for Brussels Airlines.
The German state, which has just sold part of its shares, remains a 14% shareholder in the company.
Confident about the future
“We are very grateful that Lufthansa could be saved with taxpayers’ money in these difficult times,” said CEO Carsten Spohr. “This has made it possible to preserve more than 100 000 jobs and secure them for the future. We are increasingly confident about the future as more and more countries open their borders,” he added.
With travel restrictions eased and passengers returning, Lufthansa posted a net loss of 756 million euros in the second quarter of 2021, half the 1,5 billion euros in the same period of 2020, when flights were halted worldwide due to Covid-19.
However, Lufthansa is carrying out a severe cost-cutting redundancy campaign, which plans to cut thousands of jobs, 30 000 of which have already been cut since the pandemic began.