Improving aviation infrastructure
At this year’s Lufthansa Annual General Meeting in Cologne, Lufthansa Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber unveiled record profit and revenue figures to the shareholders for the second year running.
“Lufthansa has closed the 2007 business year with the best result in the history of our company,” stated Mayrhuber, adding that the company’s “position is strong and the starting basis is solid. The Lufthanseats have again proven that they are the best. The result is a product of all the business segments, as well as the merger with SWISS. The success of the Group equally benefits customers, employees and shareholders.”
A record dividend of EUR 1.25 per share will be proposed to the shareholders, which is equivalent to a 55 per cent increase in comparison with the previous year.
The Lufthansa Group has had an outstanding first-quarter result for 2008. However, Mayrhuber warned of the consequences of the intensifying competition in the aviation industry, as well as the unforeseeable implications of the uncertainty on the financial markets and the price increases in the raw materials sector.
“Lufthansa is prepared and will not shy any headwinds. However, we must work hard and consistently to continually improve our performance in this competition. It is especially those that are responsible for the framework conditions of the aviation industry in Europe that must now make their contribution.”
The Lufthansa Chairman and CEO urged for a rapid improvement of the infrastructure saying that, “structures have to be ensured on the ground and in the air that are as efficient and competitive as the German logistics and mobility companies. This is essential for Germany as the world champion in exports and second in the world in imports, as well as for the survival as European logistics hub. The answer lies in the hands of the politicians.”
Infrastructure improvements at the major airports with capacity bottlenecks are a condition for Lufthansa to be able to create many thousands of jobs. During the years from 2005 to 2008 alone, the Lufthansa Group has employed 10,000 new staff in Germany.
At the Annual General Meeting, Mayrhuber stressed that the infrastructure in the air was just as important, adding that, “better air traffic control and the Single European Sky are the greatest efficiency-related and environmental project in Europe, but also one that has now been being discussed for 48 years. The time has come to finally implement the project. It would immediately reduce CO2 emissions by about twelve per cent. The politicians must act.” An efficient infrastructure is directly related to consumer protection and environmental protection.
Mayrhuber added that he remained confident that, “the perspectives for the aviation industry are good” and “the demand for mobility shall continue to rise”. The uncertainty at the financial markets, oil prices at record levels, the possible consolidation of air traffic in the USA and the unbroken rapid expansion course of the Gulf carriers are factors that will challenge the working and creative power of the Group, but challenges that Lufthansa is prepared to face as a global company. “We have enough thrust for another ascent and we have the flexibility to slow down in case of downwash. We have made provisions – with regards to the balance, strategy and operations. The record-breaking year 2007 will not be a one-hit wonder. We are concentrating on continuity”, added Mayrhuber.