Lufthansa customers found a letter in their email inbox on Tuesday morning. In it, airline boss Carsten Spohr explains how he assesses the chaotic situation when traveling and when it will finally be over.

If an e-mail from the Lufthansa boss is in the electronic mailbox before 5 a.m., the situation is probably serious. Many of the airline’s passengers should have received mail from Carsten Spohr this Tuesday morning. In seven paragraphs, the manager explains why traveling by plane is currently so chaotic and time-consuming. And he dares to predict when things could get better.

The message from the Lufthansa boss is: The difficulties cannot be resolved so soon. Definitely not during this summer vacation. Because there is still a massive lack of staff and resources – both at Germany’s largest airline itself and in the entire industry.

He wants to be completely honest, writes Spohr in the letter to his customers, which other top managers of the airline have also signed: “In the next few weeks, with the number of passengers continuing to increase, whether on vacation or business trips, the situation will change hardly improve in the short term,” predicts Spohr and asks the passengers for their understanding.

The Lufthansa boss does not expect a noticeable relaxation until winter

The ramping up of the complex air traffic system from almost zero during the corona crisis to almost 90 percent again at present is not possible with the reliability, robustness and punctuality “that we would like to offer you again”.

Anyone who has recently traveled by plane from Germany knows this: hours of waiting at the security check, delayed flights, problems with the luggage. According to Spohr, both Lufthansa and other companies in the travel industry will have to struggle with the current problems for months to come.

The airline boss explains that the situation will only improve in the coming winter. It will probably take that long for Lufthansa to build up enough aircraft and staff capacity, which had been cut back so much during the corona crisis. The entire industry wants to hire several thousand new employees in Europe alone.

Only the day before, Lufthansa had announced that it would be using the A380 large aircraft, which had been decommissioned in the meantime, from next summer. The Lufthansa fleet, which according to Spohr currently comprises more than 750 machines, will also be strengthened by further new machines from Airbus and Boeing, he explained.

Spohr cites the war in Ukraine as another reason for the current difficulties. The usable airspace in Europe is severely restricted by the conflict. “As a result, this leads to massive bottlenecks in the sky and unfortunately to further flight delays,” said Spohr.

In the summer of 2023, he also expects a much more reliable air traffic system around the world. Until then, however, the company and its customers have a long dry spell to overcome, according to the letter.

At least a clear message from Carsten Spohr

What is bad news for travelers, however, pleased the stock market: the Lufthansa share rose by more than two percent at times in the morning. Apparently, investors liked the fact that Lufthansa has a clear idea of ​​how long it will take to master the situation. Or to put it the other way round – according to the Lufthansa boss, the end of the travel chaos is at least in sight.

Source: Letter from Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr to his customers

Watch the video: The start of the summer holidays is imminent. There is already chaos at many airports in Germany. But why is that? An airport employee unpacks the chaotic conditions at her workplace.