Austrian Airlines sees improvement despite first-half loss

29th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Austrian Airlines, owned by Germany's Lufthansa, said on Thursday it was seeing the effects of restructuring in its half-year results, even as it posted a 67-million-euro operating loss.

The figure was an improvement on the company's operating loss of 93.5 million euros (121.8 million dollars) in the first six months of 2009, Austrian Airlines (AUA) said in a statement.

"Our measures are taking effect," the airline's co-chairmen, Andreas Bierwirth and Peter Malanik said.

"We are on the right track but we haven't crossed the finish line yet: we cannot let up now and have to continue to push through our restructuring programme consistently," they added.

"These effects will be felt even more strongly in the second half of the year," AUA also predicted.

Revenues improved in the first half of 2010, despite losses incurred after ash from an Icelandic volcano shut much of Europe's air space in April and May, the company said.

In the first half of this year, AUA posted 1.025 billion euros in revenues, up 6.0 percent from 969.4 million euros in the same period last year, it said.

Passenger numbers meanwhile went up 8.8 percent compared to the first six months of 2009, with some five million passengers choosing to fly with the Austrian carrier.

AUA said it was planning to cut costs by some 250 million euros this year, as well as greatly boost revenues.

Under its restructuring plan, staff numbers will be cut to about 6,000 from just under 6,400 as of June 30. Partnerships are also being developed within the Lufthansa group, which includes Swiss and British firm BMI.

© 2010 AFP

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