German airline giant Lufthansa on Monday significantly raised its earnings forecast for 2022, citing “strong demand” for air travel in the months ahead.
The group now expects adjusted operating profits (adjusted EBIT) of “over one billion euros ($980 million)”, it said in a statement, double its previous target of “at least” 500 million euros.
Lufthansa said the optimistic outlook was “based on the positive development in the third quarter, the current booking situation, which continues to reflect strong demand for air travel in the coming months and the expectation of another record result from Lufthansa Cargo in 2022”.
Third quarter revenues almost doubled year-on-year to 10.1 billion euros, according to preliminary results released by Lufthansa.
Strike action by pilots and ground staff over the July-to-September period cost the airline around 70 million euros, it added.
Lufthansa pilots agreed last month not to strike again until at least the end of June next year, after reaching a deal with bosses on higher pay.
The Lufthansa group — which includes Eurowings, Austrian, Swiss and Brussels Airlines — made huge net losses of 6.7 billion euros in 2020 and 2.2 billion euros in 2021 as the coronavirus pandemic shut down large parts of the airline industry.
Lufthansa was saved from bankruptcy by a German government bailout in June 2020.
The strong rebound in travel and freight traffic since then allowed Lufthansa to stabilise its finances earlier than expected.
The German government sold its remaining stake in Lufthansa last month, putting the airline back in private hands.
Lufthansa will publish its full third-quarter results on October 27.