The Lufthansa airline’s passenger traffic on Ukrainian routes reduced by 20% in the first eight months of this year, the airline’s Vice President for Sales and Services in Europe Heike Birlenbach announced at a press conference on Thursday, the CFTS correspondent reports.
However, she was unable to provide absolute figures. "Unfortunately, we do not disclose figures for individual months," said Birlenbach.
She added that the airline does not intend to end its operations in Ukraine despite the military and political events and the economic crisis in the country. Only flights to Odessa will be suspended during the winter in accordance with tradition.
Birlenbach forecast that the fall in passenger traffic to/from Ukraine in 2014 would not exceed 20%. At the same time, according to her, it is extremely difficult to forecast anything at a time when the situation in the country is unpredictable. By comparison, Lufthansa transported 513,000 passengers on Ukrainian routes and had a 6% share of the market in 2013. Thus, it could lose approximately 100,000 passengers in 2014.
Birlenbach also said that the company would invest about EUR 3 billion in upgrading the premium economy class on its aircraft by 2015. The airline has an order portfolio of 260 aircraft worth an estimated EUR 32 billion. They include 24 Airbus-350 and 34 Boeing-777 aircraft.