Sunday, June 7, 2009

Lufthansa Swiss unit sees no quick recovery in demand

Deutsche Lufthansa's Swiss unit said today that premium passenger and cargo demand had stabilised at low levels and prospects of a recovery this year were unlikely. ''Cargo demand has stabilised at a very low level, which is giving good reason for substantial concern for the future of this business,'' CEO Christoph Franz told Reuters.

''The same is true for passengers in business and first class,'' he said in an interview on the sidelines of an airline meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

''We are not forecasting a miracle in coming months.'' Franz said that despite weak demand, the airline was not delaying or cancelling plane orders since it was in the midst of renewing its fleet. The Swiss unit had two Airbus A320s and 11 A330-300s ordered as of March this year.

Airlines have been suffering from weaker demand because of the financial crisis and have also been hurt by the sharp rise and fall of oil prices in the past year.

''One of the major risks we see is the surge of oil prices bgain,'' said Franz, who is also deputy CEO of Lufthansa.

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