17 MAY 2010
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LUFTHANSA has posted a whopping €330m loss for the first quarter, up from €44m for the same period last year. The airline has blamed the figure on escalating fuel prices and the cost of the consolidating Austrian Airlines and bmi into the Group. Industrial action by pilots in February did not help, nor a particularly harsh European winter. The next quarter is highly unlikely to be better with major disruptions to services from Iceland’s volcanic ash. Also announcing a loss was easyJet with a figure of £78.7m (down from £116.5m), the airline suffering from both external and internal problems. The volcano problems seriously disrupted schedules. Former Chairman and major shareholder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou resigned from the board on Friday (14 May) declaring that departing Chief Executive, Andy Harrison was “over-rated” and had increased nothing but “the size of his bonus” since joining the airline in late 2005. Harrison is to stay in the travel industry as CEO of Whitbread, the hotel and restaurant company. www.lufthansa.com www.easyjet.com
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