Lufthansa Sees Bmi, Austrian 2010 Losses Offset

July 29, 2010

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Chief executive Wolfgang Mayrhuber last year completed a shopping spree, adding Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines and bmi to his stable of carriers to battle Air France-KLM and British Airways for European pole position.

Bmi and Austrian Airlines posted a combined first-half operating loss of EUR€163 million (USD$212.1 million) as the units restructure, Lufthansa said on Thursday.

Chief Financial Officer Stephan Gemkow said he would not rule out Austrian Airlines posting a quarterly profit this year.

"But it would be very optimistic to expect break-even this year already," he said.

Lufthansa had said on Wednesday it expected to post 2010 operating profit in line with market expectations, after demand for intercontinental air travel and cargo services picked up in the first half of the year.

The company had previously said it saw 2010 operating profit exceeding last year's EUR€130 million (USD$169 million) as global economic recovery helps offset the negative impact of a volcanic ash cloud that swept across Europe in April.

Second-quarter operating profit in the April-June period tripled to EUR€159 million.