Lufthansa is Europe’s second-biggest airline and the flag carrier for Germany. With hubs situated at Frankfurt Airport and Munich International Airport, Lufthansa has been serving German travellers since 1953. Aside from its own services, Lufthansa also owns a string of subsidiaries that offer low-cost air travel, including Eurowings. It also owns Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines.
The Lufthansa Group has a combined fleet of more than 700 aircraft, making it one of the biggest commercial airline fleets on the planet. Today, Lufthansa is one-fifth of the Star Alliance, a body of airlines established in 1997 designed to improve operational efficiencies and collaborate on passenger incentives such as rewards programs.
Lufthansa was one of many major European airlines to be hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. It received a €9 billion bailout comprising capital measures and entry into the Economic Stabilisation Fund of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
The Lufthansa share price has been one of the most volatile of all the available airline stocks to trade to date. Although Lufthansa stock traded as high as €22.17 in December 2017, investors in Lufthansa from day one would have yielded only a modest return of 12.45%.
The late 1990s was a bullish period for Lufthansa stock, reaching new highs on at least three occasions before the dawn of the new millennium. However, the bursting of the dot-com bubble hit the airline industry hard too, with Lufthansa shares plunging from €19 in January 2001 to €7.57 in October 2001.
Lufthansa shares recovered again by the mid-2000s, although the global financial crisis of 2007-08 saw the share price return to levels not seen since October 2001. The Lufthansa share price retested these levels again in 2012 before a meteoric rise to all-time highs in the mid-2010s. The impact of Covid-19 saw Lufthansa shares hit rock bottom in September 2020 at €5.03, although the return to normal air travel saw its share price rise over 17% in 2022.
There are several other publicly listed airlines in Europe that could be viewed as competitors or investment alternatives to Lufthansa. Air France-KLM is one such option. It has a workforce of more than 82,000, which almost rivals Lufthansa, although the company’s valuation is dwarfed ten-fold by Lufthansa, which is thought to be worth $10 billion.
Other airlines operating alongside Lufthansa within the Star Alliance include Air Canada and Air India. Lufthansa is an airline that also focuses on transatlantic travel, which means it’s also in competition with some of America’s leading carriers, notably Delta Airlines and American Airlines. Norwegian Air is another European carrier that is investing heavily in transatlantic routes and could prove to be a low-cost rival to Lufthansa in the years ahead.
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