Lufthansa shares fell sharply last week after the airline announced an unexpected fundraising move to pay for its Airbus A380 order. Issuing 76.3 million new shares to existing shareholders will raise up to €750 million ($901 million), the airline says, which it plans to invest in "the expansion of its intercontinental traffic".


The airline refuses to comment further, citing regulatory restraints in the USA and elsewhere, but there are at least two possible destinations for the money. The airline's 15 A380s will be delivered from the third quarter of 2007 - while Lufthansa and Airbus refuse to reveal the exact delivery schedule, the aircraft represent a major capital investment, which the share placement may be intended to back. Lufthansa also says that it plans "capital expenditures for the preparation of operations and supporting infrastructure". 


Lufthansa will also sell the $530 million-a-year US restaurant supply division of its LSG Sky Chefs catering business for an undisclosed price to the Questor Fund private investment group, it said on 27 May. Large writedowns in the value of Sky Chefs were responsible for the airline's €984 million loss in 2003.


Source: Flight International