Lufthansa chief restates need for Score restructuring

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Lufthansa chief executive Christoph Franz says his controversial cost-cutting and sales-improvement programme Score will continue as planned after his departure next May.

The German flag carrier revealed on 16 September that Franz had unexpectedly decided not to renew his contract beyond its current term. Instead, he will become executive president of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche.

When Lufthansa’s supervisory board met on 18 September to approve the airline’s order for up to 119 Airbus A350 and Boeing 777X widebodies, the board members voted unanimously to stick with Score, Franz has revealed.

No successor has yet been determined for the airline group’s top job. But Franz says the board decided on the selection process during the meeting – and will consider both internal and external candidates for the role.

Franz has also reiterated the ongoing need for his signature programme, which aims to raise Lufthansa’s operational profit of €820 million ($1.1 billion) in 2011 to at least €2.3 billion by 2015.

While management has confidence that the efficiency targets will be met – reflected, he says, in the widebody order – Franz insists the planned restructuring is required to allow the airline to pay for the aircraft when deliveries start in 2016.

With a list-price value of €14 billion, the 777X/A350 deal is the largest aircraft order in Lufthansa’s history.