Lufthansa limits ticket sales amid travel chaos

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BERLIN, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Germany’s Lufthansa said on Thursday it would offer only around 80% of pre-crisis passenger capacity in the third quarter, less than previously planned, amid staffing shortages at airports and airlines.

The airline industry, particularly in Europe, has struggled to cope with the rapid rebound in demand, with huge queues building at many airports because of staff shortages, prompting last-minute cancellations and frustration by holidaymakers.

Lufthansa returned to an operating profit in the second quarter, posting adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 393 million euros ($399.37 million) for the three months through June thanks to booming demand for air cargo flights, the company reported.

Rival Air France-KLM and British Airways-owner IAG last week also reported a return to profit in the second quarter as travellers returned to the skies following COVID-19 pandemic-related travel restrictions in 2020 and 2021.

Lufthansa’s passenger airline business posted an adjusted EBIT loss of 86 million euros, hit by costs related to flight disruptions. However, that was a smaller loss than the 228 million euros forecast by analysts on average.

Lufthansa said it expects to post full-year adjusted group EBIT of more than 500 million euros. Analysts on average expect operating profit of 569 million euros, according to a consensus published on Lufthansa’s website.

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