Lufthansa says further cost cuts are necessary due to the pandemic

Lufthansa plans further cost-cutting measures including reducing its fleet and grounding additional aircraft due to ongoing travel restrictions, the company's board wrote in a letter to staff on Sunday.

Lufthansa's airlines can only offer a quarter of the services in the winter 2020/21 season compared to the flights available last year, because passengers numbers are likely to be a fifth of the level they were one year ago, significantly below available capacity, the letter said.

"We have to further increase our current efforts to reduce costs," the management of Germany's main airline wrote.

Lufthansa had managed to reduce its loss of income from 1 million euros (1.18 million dollars) per hour early in the pandemic to "only" 1 million euros every two hours, the letter said.

However, business operations needed to be further reduced for the season ahead, with many areas to enter "winter mode" as of mid-December.

The measures include decommissioning 125 aircraft that were due to be included in the winter flight schedule.

"We can no longer fulfil our original plan to return to 50 per cent of available capacity by the end of the year," Lufthansa said.

The board said it had posted a loss of 4.1 billion euros for the first nine months of the year. The sum will rise significantly in the fourth quarter, the letter said.

It is more difficult than ever to make predictions about how the industry will develop, the letter said.

Nonetheless, the board said it was "determined to keep at least 100,000 of the Lufthansa Group's 130,000 jobs."

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