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Old July 5th, 2006, 03:26 AM   #101
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Swiss airline pilots union threatens strike

ZURICH, July 4 (Reuters) - Swiss pilots union Aeropers on Tuesday threatened to strike if Swiss International Air Lines, which is controlled by Germany's Lufthansa , began layoffs or diverted routes. Aeropers, one of two key pilots' unions at Swiss, said contract negotiations had ended without a conclusion on Friday, leaving members to continue working without contracts.

A strike would affect around 700 Zurich-based pilots working on 20 long-haul and 20 short-haul routes, Aeropers spokesman Beat Schneider said.

If Swiss begins to lay off pilots or shut down routes leading through Zurich, Switzerland's largest city and financial capital, the union would call a strike, Schneider said.

"We are threatening a strike in the instances that we mentioned, if Swiss lays off people and if Swiss outsources some of the production -- some of our flights," he said.

Swiss spokesman Jean-Claude Donzel said the strike threat had taken the airline by surprise and that Swiss aimed to do all it could to conclude a collective labour agreement with the union.

"We are calling for reason and a sense of responsibility from our pilots union," Donzel said by telephone. "As before, we will make use of all the leeway we have available. The important thing of course is that air traffic continue unhindered."
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Old July 11th, 2006, 09:26 PM   #102
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Lufthansa Lags Other European Carriers In June
By George Frey Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
11 July 2006

FRANKFURT (Dow Jones)--German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA.XE) said Tuesday the company saw a slight rise in passenger numbers in June, partly due to Germany hosting the World Cup of soccer, but its shares fell nearly 4% as it still lagged European rivals.

Lufthansa carried 4.8 million passengers in June, a 2.6% rise on the year, while its passenger load factor
- a measure of how full airplanes are - rose 2 percentage points to 78%. The airline's revenue-passenger kilometers however, fell 0.5% to 9.8 million. Revenue-passenger kilometers indicate how far passengers are flown.

Lufthansa said the Asia-Pacific region showed the highest growth rates, with a 6% increase in the number of passengers to 331,000 and a passenger load factor of 80.8%. In Europe, Lufthansa's passenger numbers were up 3.1% to 3.7 million with a passenger load factor of 68.9%.

Lufthansa also said the company's cargo division transported around 149,000 tons of freight and mail, which is a 2.2% increase from the year ago period.
Lufthansa Cargo scaled back its capacity for the month of June by 1.4%. The company said its highest growth rates for the cargo division also came from the Asia-Pacific region.

However, given that Lufthansa was expected to carry more passengers to and from Germany due to the soccer World Cup in June, the figures were deemed disappointing by analysts.

"I can't see a reason to be excited about these numbers," said Per-Ola Hellgren at Landesbank Rheinland-Pfalz. "In March, April and May, Lufthansa had better traffic numbers, and June was supposed to be the soccer month."

Hellgren noted that Air France-KLM (3112.FR) and British Airways (BAB) in comparison had much stronger passenger data in June, but indicated Lufthansa's traffic could improve markedly in July as people begin the holidays they postponed as a result of staying home to watch the World Cup. He rates Lufthansa at market perfomer with a target of EUR17.

"Overall, Lufthansa (LHA.XE) traffic figures for June look positive," said Frank Skodzik of West LB, despite an only minor increase in the passenger load factor for the month. "We'll see how they've done on pricing when they report on their first half, but at present, I see no sign of weakness and no sign for concern,"
Skodzik said. He rates Lufthansa at add with a target of EUR16.

At 1450 GMT, Lufthansa was trading down 3.7% at EUR14.30.

"Lufthansa was the World Cup airline," said Lufthansa spokesman Michael Goentgens, defending the company's performance.

"We're expecting a total of 200,000 added passengers due to the World Cup, some of which will be booked in July's traffic figures," Goentgens said.

The World Cup ran from June 9 to July 9.

The airline has never had such a high load factor, or so many passengers during the month of June, Goentgens said. Lufthansa was the official airline for the German national team, and also provided flights for many of the other teams which played in the tournament. Lufthansa predicted in early June that the Cup would add 200,000 customers to June and July traffic results. On Monday, for example, a specially scheduled Lufthansa flight took nearly 400 Brazilian soccer fans from Berlin to Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Lufthansa's traffic increases for June mark a trend in the industry, where other European airlines have shown more positive developments in their traffic.

Last week, both AirFrance-KLM (3112.FR), and Scandinavia's SAS (SAS.SK) said their revenue passenger kilometer figures for the month of June increased over 7%, while easyJet PLC, (EZJ.LN) said it saw a 15.6% jump in the number of passengers carried to 2.99 million during the month.

British Airways and Irish budget carrier Ryanair Holdings PLC (RYAAY) also posted solid June traffic.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 06:12 PM   #103
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Lufthansa Cargo mulls options for fleet renewal

FRANKFURT, July 13 (Reuters) - German freight carrier Lufthansa Cargo is weighing up replacements for its MD-11 aircraft and plans to make a decision on the future shape of its fleet next year, one of its board members said.

"We are thinking about how we want to be in the future in terms of fleet," Karl-Heinz Koepfle said at a media event at Frankfurt airport late on Wednesday. "In 2007, we must have reached a decision."

European planemaker Airbus has approached Lufthansa Cargo about a converted freighter version of its four-engine A340 long-haul aircraft, which is under pressure from rival Boeing's 777 and planned 787 models, Koepfle said.

He said it was too early to comment on that possibility, though he reiterated Lufthansa Cargo's view that the freighter version of the Airbus A380 superjumbo was "unsuitable".

Koepfle said the Boeing 777 freighter as well as the freighter model of its newest version of the 747 jumbo, the 747-8, were among the options Lufthansa Cargo was looking at.

Lufthansa Cargo currently operates a fleet of 19 MD-11 aircraft, as well as using the belly capacity of Deutsche Lufthansa group's passenger planes.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 06:29 AM   #104
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Swiss airline reaches contract deal with pilots

GENEVA, July 22 (Reuters) - Swiss International Air Lines, controlled by Germany's Lufthansa , has reached an outline contract deal with a pilots' union that had been threatening to strike, it said on Saturday.

"Swiss and the Aeropers pilots' union agreed on the principles of a new and forward-looking collective labour agreement," the company said in a statement.

Neither the company nor the union would give further details of the accord, which will take effect on Nov. 1, 2006, until union members had had time to review the proposal, it added.

Aeropers, one of two key pilots' unions at Swiss, warned of possible strikes after contract negotiations broke down earlier this month.

Any strike would have affected around 700 Zurich-based pilots working on 20 long-haul and 20 short-haul routes.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 06:19 AM   #105
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Lufthansa raises forecasts after positive second quarter

FRANKFURT, July 27, 2006 (AFP) - German airline Lufthansa raised on Thursday its full-year operating forecast after second-quarter results that exceeded expectations despite spiralling fuel costs which are hitting the entire airline sector.

Lufthansa believes yearly operating profits will now exceed last year's level of 577 million euros (727 million dollars), having said previously they would fall short of that figure.

The second-quarter results showed a 57.75 percent year-on-year rise, to 183 million euros.

Lufthansa boss Wolfgang Mayrhuber said: "Raising profits by almost 40 million euros despite the high price of fuel shows Lufthansa's strength. "We are seeing progress and potential in all sectors."

The results were boosted by the recovering fortunes of Swiss, which was in profit for the first time since Lufthansa bought it last year.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 06:27 PM   #106
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Germany's Lufthansa says foreign ownership exceeds 40 percent
3 August 2006

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - German airline Lufthansa said Thursday that foreign investors now hold more than 40 percent of its stock, but added that it saw no risk of "excessive foreign control" and would not launch a share buyback.

Lufthansa said that, as of Thursday, nearly 40.3 percent of shareholders were individuals or companies based outside Germany.

The airline said that, to retain its operating license under European law and rights to fly to destinations outside Europe, the proportion of foreign shareholders must not exceed 50 percent.

Once the total reaches 40 percent, it added, German law allows a company to buy back its shares "to prevent imminent excessive foreign control."

"Lufthansa does not currently see a threat of excessive foreign control, however, and continues to place its confidence in the self-regulation of the capital market," the company said in a statement. It did not specify where the foreign investors were from.

Lufthansa shares were down 0.8 percent at €14.77 (US$18.92) in Frankfurt trading.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 08:44 PM   #107
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Lufthansa to receive first A380 superjumbo with several months' delay

FRANKFURT, Sept 5, 2006 (AFP) - German flag carrier Lufthansa is to take delivery of its first A380 superjumbo jet from European aircraft maker Airbus with several months' delay "in summer 2008," a company spokesman said on Tuesday.

Originally, Lufthansa had been scheduled to take delivery of the first of a total 15 A380 jets in autumn 2007.

But then an initial delay set back the delivery date to the beginning of 2008.

"We're in close negotiations with Airbus. But they haven't given us any more details on the delivery timetable so far," the spokesman said.

Lufthansa would still be the first European airline to have an A380 in service, he added.
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Old September 11th, 2006, 04:46 PM   #108
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Lufthansa says Aug passenger numbers up 3.5 pct

FRANKFURT, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Germany's Deutsche Lufthansa said on Monday the number of passengers in August rose 3.5 percent, boosted by European and Asia/Pacific travel.

Passenger traffic, measured as revenue pax-kilometre, dipped 0.9 percent.

The passenger load factor, which measures the amount of available capacity filled, fell 1.1 percentage points to 76.5 percent, Lufthansa said.

The amount of cargo and post carried in August rose 6.5 percent to 146,000 tonnes, Lufthansa added.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 06:41 AM   #109
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German airline Lufthansa to pay US$85M to settle lawsuits alleging cargo industry price-fixing
11 September 2006

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - Airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG said late Monday it would pay US$85 million (€67 million) to settle pending class-action lawsuits in the U.S. that claimed it colluded to fix prices charged for hauling cargo.

The company said the settlement is subject to court approval and, pending approval, the Cologne-based airline, along with Swiss International Air Lines Ltd., would be released from the pending class actions.

Lufthansa said it has applied for leniency with the U.S. Department of Justice, the EU Commission for conditional immunity.

In February, more than a dozen airlines were drawn into an investigation by U.S. and European Union officials of suspected collusion in the air cargo industry to fix prices on surcharges for fuel, security and insurance.

European and U.S. officials refused to provide details about the probe. But one of the airlines targeted, SAS AB's SAS Cargo in Copenhagen, Denmark, said the EU alleged that cooperation among airlines began in 2000 and involved agreements about surcharges imposed by airlines to offset certain external costs.

SAS said the costs included surcharges on fuel, added security after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and premiums for war-risk insurance after the start of the war in Iraq.

Shares of Lufthansa rose 1.3 percent to close at €15.51 (US$19.66) in Frankfurt trading.
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 02:53 AM   #110
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Lufthansa to leave some business class seats empty

FRANKFURT, Sept 22 (Reuters) - German airline Deutsche Lufthansa plans to keep some business-class seats empty on all European flights to attract customers by offering more room, the carrier said on Friday.

Passengers will find the neighbouring seat on all Lufthansa regional flights on domestic and European routes will be kept free in business class from the end of October, when the winter timetable begins.

The service would be unique in Europe, said Lufthansa, which has already been leaving the middle seats free in business class on short- and medium-range aircraft at its main passenger airline since 2004.

The empty-seat strategy will be expanded to business class on "Lufthansa Regional" flights, which include Air Dolomiti, Augsburg Airways, Lufthansa CityLine, Contact Air and Eurowings services.

Business passengers willing to pay more for in-flight frills and convenient flying times are key to profitability at the airline, but Lufthansa hopes leaving a portion of business seats empty rather than trying to fill its planes completely will give it an advantage over competitors.

"Obviously it makes economic sense, otherwise we wouldn't be doing it," said a Lufthansa spokeswoman. "It is an advantage in terms of quality."
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Old October 21st, 2006, 03:16 AM   #111
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Lufthansa could get Swiss CEO on mgmt board -paper

FRANKFURT, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Lufthansa may be planning to expand its management board to include Swiss International Air Lines chief Christoph Franz, the Boersen Zeitung reported, quoting sources close to the company.

In an article to be published on Saturday, the newspaper said Franz could lead Lufthansa's passenger business, which is currently headed by Lufthansa Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Mayrhuber.

The newspaper added that Lufthansa's supervisory board is also interested in discussing the matter at a meeting at the end of November.

A Lufthansa spokeswoman said she would not comment on either the supervisory board meeting or the personnel speculation.

Mayrhuber's contract runs until 2010.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 12:35 AM   #112
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Lufthansa unveils rise in sales, upbeat forecast for 2006

BERLIN, Oct 25, 2006 (AFP) - German airline Lufthansa reported Wednesday a 13-percent rise in sales in the first nine months of the year and gave an upbeat assessment for its full-year results.

The Frankfurt-based company said sales had reached 15.0 billion euros, up from 13.3 billion euros in the equivalent period of last year, with net profit slightly down at 414 million euros from 416 million euros.

Lufthansa noted that the net profit figure for last year included one-off gains, notably regarding the valuation of Swiss International Air Lines in its accounts.

For the full year, Lufthansa said that its operating profit in 2006 as a whole would be about 750 million euros compared with 691 million euros last year.

Previously, the group had said it only expected to exceed last year's figure without being specific.

For the first nine months, Lufthansa reported an operating profit of 691 million euros, 67 percent higher than the 471 million euros for the same period last year.

The group will give more detailed results on Thursday.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 04:33 PM   #113
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Germany's Lufthansa says October passenger numbers up 6.6 percent
9 November 2006

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - More passengers flying to destinations in Europe helped airline Lufthansa AG post a 6.6 percent increase in passengers during October, the company said Thursday.

The German airline said it carried nearly 5 million passengers worldwide last month.

The highest growth came in Europe and Asia as passengers took advantage of lower fares to visit destinations in Lufthansa's home markets and around the Pacific Rim.

Traffic to European destinations was up 7.8 percent as capacity, or flights available, rose 2.8 percent.

Flights to Asia and the Pacific saw a 7.9 percent increase in passengers with capacity up 3.4 percent.

But traffic to the Americas region, which includes the U.S., fell by 3.2 percent after increases in trans-Atlantic fares.

The number of passengers flying to and from the Middle East and Africa was down 2.6 percent.

Shares of Lufthansa rose 0.8 percent to euro18.68 (US$23.87) in Frankfurt trading.
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 04:57 AM   #114
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Lufthansa union eyes staff pay rise as profits grow

FRANKFURT, Dec 1 (Reuters) - The Verdi union is demanding that German airline Deutsche Lufthansa give staff a 5.8 percent pay rise, as the carrier continues to increase profits, helped by cost cuts.

Pay negotiations, for about 42,000 ground and cabin staff, will begin on Dec. 13, Verdi said on Friday. Lufthansa declined to comment.

"Lufthansa is on course to achieve a very good profit this year and is on a clear growth path. That is first and foremost down to the workers," Verdi board member Jan Kahmann said. "They must have an appropriate share in this economic success." Lufthansa said on Oct. 25 that it expected its operating result to rise 30 percent to some 750 million euros ($992.9 million) this year after earnings in the first nine months of 2006 increased 47 percent to 691 million euros.

The airline is also targeting an annual profit of 1 billion euros by 2008, though Morgan Stanley said it expected Lufthansa to achieve a result of 1.35 billion euros in 2007, helping drive Lufthansa shares up more than 5 percent on Friday.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 02:21 AM   #115
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27 new long-haul aircrafts

Quote:
Lufthansa expands and modernises long-range fleet
Supervisory Board approves orders for 27 new aircraft

06.12.06
At its meeting today, the Lufthansa Supervisory Board approved orders for a total of 27 new aircraft. Twenty of those orders are for new long-range Boeing 747-8 jets, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2010. A further seven Airbus A340-600 long-haul aircraft will be joining the fleet from 2008. Lufthansa has also taken out options on a further twenty of the B747-8 type. With the order placements, Lufthansa is underpinning its planned growth in intercontinental traffic and, simultaneously, replacing some of the existing aircraft in the fleet.

“With aircraft types in the B747 series from Boeing, on the one hand, and others from the A330/A340/A380 family from Airbus, on the other, Lufthansa is ideally equipped to strengthen and expand its leading position in intercontinental traffic,“ said Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Chairman of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. The orders reflect Lufthansa’s growth and profitability targets. “By modernising the fleet, the new aircraft will bring further gains in efficiency as well as reduce fuel and operating costs. Both aircraft types are sustainable investments in ecological efficiency and add greater weight to Lufthansa’s active commitment to environmental protection,“ said Mayrhuber. And he emphasised: “Today’s decision on the fleet underscores Lufthansa’s clear commitment to customer orientation and profitable growth as well as the deep sense of responsibility it brings to bear on environmental issues and sustainability. With these new aircraft we will reduce emissions lastingly by 20 per cent compared with earlier models.“

Only profitable and sound companies are today in a position to invest in modern, fuel-saving, quiet and thereby environmentally friendly and economical long-haul aircraft for their customers. “Lufthansa is modernising, Lufthansa is growing and Lufthansa investing in further progress and a successful future,“ Wolfgang Mayrhuber emphasised. A modern and well-structured fleet forms the backbone of a service and market-driven airline.

Wolfgang Mayrhuber continued: “With the orders for the highly modern B747-8, Lufthansa is setting standards. The Boeing B747-8 is more than just a derivative of the successful Boeing B747 series.“ The airline will be the world’s first carrier to operate services with the new wide-body – the longest passenger jet in the world. In the Lufthansa configuration, the B747-8 will be capable of carrying around 400 passengers. “The B747-8 underlines our strategy of graded market-specific services and capacity expansion. It fits perfectly in our intercontinental fleet structure and slots neatly capacity-wise between the A380 with around 550 seats and the A340-600 with around 300 seats.“

Integration of this plane in the fleet highlights Lufthansa’s role as an innovation driver. “Lufthansa is an important partner for Boeing. The airline will play a critical role in helping us shape the future of the 747," said Scott Carson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We are thrilled Lufthansa has chosen the 747-8 Intercontinental to be an integral part of their young and environmentally friendly fleet."

Lufthansa is equipping the 20 B747-8s with new General Electric GEnx-2B67 powerplants. "The GEnx engines incorporate advanced, proven technologies from our highly successful GE90 engines as well as new innovation from GE's ongoing research and development programs," said Tom Brisken, General Manager of the GEnx program. "These advancements provide customers with improved fuel efficiency and reductions in emissions and noise and engine weight, and a lower cost of ownership." The new B747-8 will burn an average of around 3.5 litres to fly one passenger 100 kilometres, setting new standards in fuel efficiency.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG
Corporate Communications
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Old December 12th, 2006, 08:15 AM   #116
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Lufthansa says November passenger traffic up 6.6 pct

FRANKFURT, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Deutsche Lufthansa said November passenger traffic increased 6.6 percent, boosted by growth in all regions.

The passenger load factor, which measures the amount of available capacity filled, rose 1.5 percentage points to 74.5 percent, Lufthansa said on Monday.

"The capacity utilisation was up in all traffic regions," Lufthansa said in a statement. "The Middle East/Africa traffic region also reported positive figures, bucking the previous trend for the year."

European and domestic traffic rose 10 percent from the year-earlier month for a year-to-date gain of 7.8 percent, making it the best performing region this year.

Middle East/Africa traffic jumped 9.4 percent last month, more than filling a 7.5 percent increase in capacity, though it was down 2.4 percent in the first 11 months of the year.

Americas traffic also fell in the year to date, down 3.6 percent, though it was up 4 percent in November.

Asia/Pacific traffic rose 5.9 percent in November for a year-to-date gain of 4.4 percent.

The total amount of cargo and post carried in November rose 2.5 percent to 159,000 tonnes, Lufthansa added.

Shares in Lufthansa were 0.1 percent lower at 20.01 euros by 1352 GMT, underperforming a 0.5 percent rise on the German blue-chip DAX index <.GDAXI>.

UK rival British Airways posted a 0.8 percent drop in passenger traffic for November in the aftermath of new security rules and a dip in transatlantic business.

Europe's biggest airline, Air France KLM , reported a 4.1 percent rise in passenger traffic last month.
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 04:24 AM   #117
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Lufthansa to hire 3,000 new staffers in 2007 with most of them in Germany
2 January 2007

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - Airline Lufthansa AG said Tuesday it would hire 3,000 new workers in 2007, most of them in its home market of Germany.

A spokesman confirmed a report in the Bild newspaper that the company was seeking about 3,000 employees, including 1,200 cabin crew, 800 ground staff and 240 trainee pilots.

About 2,000 of the jobs are at its main hubs of Frankfurt and Munich, the paper said in a report released before its publication Wednesday.

Air transport remains a "real job motor for Germany," Lufthansa chief executive Wolfgang Mayrhuber was quoted as saying.

"For that to continue, the infrastructure at German airports must improve urgently, otherwise the new jobs will be in Dubai or somewhere else," Mayrhuber said.

Lufthansa has reported higher passenger numbers in recent months and is forecasting higher underlying earnings for 2006, even as rising fuel costs eat into its bottom line.

Lufthansa employed 92,305 people at the end of 2005. A spokesman was unable to provide a more recent figure.

Shares in Lufthansa closed 1.2 percent higher at 21.09 euros ($27.82) Tuesday on the Frankfurt stock exchange.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 04:23 AM   #118
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Political concerns blighted Swissair strategy: ex-director

GENEVA, Jan 18, 2007 (AFP) - The airline Swissair pursued a controversial and costly acquisitions strategy after other options were ruled out on political grounds, a former Swissair director said Thursday at the trial into Switzerland's biggest corporate collapse.

Thomas Schmidheiny, a Swiss industrialist and former board member of SAirGroup, the airline's parent company, on Wednesday broke the silence observed by some of his fellow defendants in the trial so far.

Swissair's sudden grounding in October 2001 under some 17 billion Swiss francs (11 billion euros, 14.2 billion dollars) of debt left hundreds of passengers stranded around the world and small shareholders in ruin as it slid into bankruptcy.

Schmidheiny told the court at Buelach near Zurich that the board had considered a merger with Scandinavian airline SAS, KLM of the Netherlands and Austria's AUA in the early 1990s, but the plan was rejected by the Swiss government.

Swiss authorities were minority shareholders in the private company.

The board also discounted a sale of the airline, a national icon, because it felt the political obstacles were too great, he said in testimony reported by the Swiss news agency SDA.

As a result, Swissair pursued its so-called "hunter" strategy of buying up stakes in other airlines abroad, Schmidheiny explained.

That strategy, combined with the slump in air travel in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks in the United States, has been blamed for driving the company to ruin.

Schmidheiny told the court on Thursday that the SAirGroup board had very carefully examined the potential risks of the acquisitions strategy, which involved ten other carriers.

He revealed that the board had turned down management's proposals to take stakes in more airlines, such as the Italian flag carrier Alitalia, Turkish Airlines and China Eastern.

Schmidheiny is the first defendant to answer the judge's questions directly since the trial opened on Tuesday, ending what the Swiss press have dubbed the mafia-like 'omerta' or code of silence among those in the dock.

The four other former board members who have appeared before the court exercised their right to silence, shedding no light on how the national flag carrier ran into financial trouble so swiftly.

Fourteen more former directors, executives and consultants, including leading figures of the Swiss business establishment, are due to be appear in court on charges relating to mismanagement.

Schmidheiny said the board knew full well the scale of the task it had set itself, and that transforming Swissair into a private company "wouldn't be a stroll in the park".

Schmidheiny is a former chief of Holcim, one of the world's largest cement companies, where he currently holds a seat on the board.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 09:22 AM   #119
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Lufthansa says offers pay rise to staff

FRANKFURT, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Germany's Deutsche Lufthansa has offered a 2.3 percent pay rise, a 200-euro one-off payment and continued profit sharing in wage talks for ground and cabin personnel, it said on Thursday.

A Lufthansa spokesman said the airline had put forward an offer package to the Verdi trade union, which is negotiating on behalf of 42,000 ground and cabin staff.
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Old February 6th, 2007, 08:36 AM   #120
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Lufthansa says night flight ban risks 7,000 jobs

FRANKFURT, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Deutsche Lufthansa Chief Executive Wolfgang Mayrhuber sees more than 7,000 jobs in danger if night flights are banned at Frankfurt airport, he told journalists at an event on Monday.

A ban on takeoffs and landings between 23.00 and 05.00 local time at Europe's third-biggest hub would have massive consequences for the airline, especially its cargo division, he said.

German airport operator Fraport hopes to open a fourth runway at Frankfurt as early as 2010. The government of the state of Hessen has assured people living near the airport night flights would be banned if a new landing strip was built.

Lufthansa did not want to leave its main base at Frankfurt, but the traffic would have to be handled at a different location in the case of a total ban on night flights, Mayrhuber said, leaving open whether this meant within Germany or abroad.

"We have no interest in emigrating from here," Mayrhuber said. The company was ready for a compromise, he said.

Lufthansa has 35,000 staff in the region. If the carrier partly leaves Frankfurt the whole expansion of the airport would be in danger as Lufthansa and its partners account for about two thirds of the airport's business, Mayrhuber said.
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