Issue No. 827

Lufthansa's Mixed Bag

Cargo, MRO, Catering Help Stanch Losses at the Group's Airlines

Pushing Back: Inside the Issue

The three biggest European airline groups have reported their second-quarter earnings results, and it's the same mixed bag for Lufthansa as it was for IAG and Air France/KLM. Leisure markets are booming, while longhaul and business are a fraction of what they were before the pandemic. This is great news for budget arm Eurowings, but not such good news for the group's network airlines, which are rejiggering their networks to serve more leisure destinations. Lufthansa Cargo, however, pulled in record revenues, and both the catering and MRO businesses did well. Like his peers, Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr thinks the worst days of the pandemic are behind the industry and the recovery will begin in earnest next year.

Meanwhile, a new report finds that airline leaders' optimism about the return of business travel is bumping into the reality that many companies still don't want to send employees back on the road — or haven't reopened their offices. Delays at the airframers could result in Air Lease Corp. taking delivery of just more than half the aircraft it had planned to add in the second half. Congress could vote on the so-called "flag of convenience airline" bill, a shot across Norse Atlantic Airways' bow. And SunCountry won approval to fly to the U.S. And where are the busiest five domestic routes? Turn to the Routes & Networks section to find out.

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The Airline Weekly Lounge Podcast

In this week's episode of 'The Lounge, Editor Madhu Unnikrishnan and Skift Editor at Large Brian Sumers discuss when the business travel rebound might start, given that so many companies have delayed recalling employees to their offices. Will the Delta variant delay when companies send their road warriors back out on the road? And Sumers, always an avid traveler, took his first trip on a commercial flight in 18 months and the experience left him ... well, we'll let you listen to find out. Past episodes are archived here.

Weekly Skies

Lufthansa's airlines continued to bleed cash during the second quarter, but the group believes the recovery — fueled first by transatlantic demand — is gathering steam and will be solidly underway by the end of the year.

Fleet

Air Lease Corp. (ALC) expects to take delivery of only 36 of the 42 aircraft it has planned for the rest of the year, thanks to Boeing's continuing problems with the 787 program and Airbus warning that A320 deliveries could slip.

State of the Unions

The full U.S. House of Representatives could vote on a bill to bar what it calls "flags of convenience" airlines from seeking to fly to the U.S., after the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee approved the measure at the end…

Routes and Networks

Three of the five most traveled domestic air routes for 2020 were based in China, which became the world's largest domestic market for the first time on record last year, IATA data show. China's success is also reflected by the…