Lufthansa tightens belt despite cost saving success

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Lufthansa is cutting back investment due to the uncertain economic environment, despite the fact its "Climb 2011" cost reduction programme has created more savings than originally planned.

The German carrier has decided to suspend non-operationally essential investments for the present time, a spokesman said.

Ordered aircraft will be delivered as planned, but the airline will not pursue projects such as a new cargo centre in Frankfurt, he added.

However, the proposed facility was already put on ice in response to the temporary night flight ban imposed at Frankfurt last month.

Next year, the airline will take delivery of 32 aircraft but also phase-out 38 jets to slow its previously planned capacity growth from 9% to 3%.

The cuts are being made just as Lufthansa's "Climb 2011" cost saving programme winds down.

The initiative, which was implemented in 2009 and finishes at the end of the year, has saved more than the originally forecast €1 billion, the spokesman said. The possibility of a follow-on programme is currently under discussion.