Lufthansa fortunes are climbing steeply following traffic and revenue growth in the first half of 1997. Chairman Jürgen Weber says that the national carrier has achieved substantial growth in profit in the first half of this year compared with 1996 figures.

Weber highlights particularly strong growth in the North Atlantic market as well as in the Asia-Pacific region, and says that troubled Lufthansa Cargo - which lost DM60 million ($32.3 million) in 1996 - has also shown a clear improvement. The latest figures show Lufthansa's first-quarter revenue up by 8.5% on that of 1996, reaching DM4.9 billion.

North Atlantic routes are being operated with load factors averaging more than 80%, and overall traffic has risen by over 10%.

Weber adds, however, that conditions must be right to keep Lufthansa on course, demanding investment in airport slots, and linking major airports into the European high-speed-rail system. He also wants fee penalties on airlines which fail to meet environmental-protection standards.

Source: Flight International