BERLIN Jan 6 Lufthansa outlined plans
for 4 percent capacity growth in 2017, not including recent
deals to expand Eurowings via Air Berlin and Brussels Airlines,
as Europe's airlines engage in a race for customers against a
backdrop of rising fuel prices.
Lufthansa said in an investor presentation on Friday that
its network airlines - Lufthansa, Austrian and Swiss - would
grow the number of seats on offer by 3 percent, while Eurowings
would grow 19 percent.
Including recent deals to lease 38 planes and crew from Air
Berlin plus take over Brussels Airlines, group growth would be a
reported 12.5 percent, according to the slides.
UBS earlier downgraded Lufthansa shares to "sell" from
"neutral", saying it was concerned that yields - a measure of
pricing - would remain negative in 2017, as European carriers
continue to add seats despite likely being unable to pass on
increased fuel costs to passengers.
Lufthansa also on Friday confirmed a forecast for 2016's
adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to remain
around 2015's level of 1.8 billion euros. It is expected to give
a first forecast for 2017 profit when it reports full-year
results in March.
($1 = 0.9470 euros)
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Adrian Croft)