Lufthansa Group continued to repair its balance sheet during the first half of 2011 in spite of high fuel costs and pressures from unrest in North Africa and the Middle East, as well as the Japan earthquake and tsunami in March.

The group "reduced its net indebtness to €1.4 billion ($2.1 billion) during the period" while fuel costs jumped 24.6% to €3 billion, Lufthansa said in an interim report.

Capital expenditure totalled €1.4 billion, of which €1.2 billion was spent on expansion and fleet modernisation. Operating cash flow totalled €1.7 billion and free cash flow (operating cash flow minus net investments) stood at €857 million.

Germany's flagship airline reported a net loss of €206 million for the first half of 2011, but maintained its outlook for the year.

 Luft body
© Javier  Guerrero,

"Lufthansa remains among the profitable airlines in the world even after six months of strong headwinds. All of our business segments are continuing to work hard to extend the gap to our competitors," says member of the board of Deutsche Lufthansa, Stephan Gemkow.

Source: Commercial Aviation Online