Cheaper fuel helps Lufthansa to stronger profit

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Cheaper fuel helped push full-year profits higher at German airline Lufthansa.

Net income jumped to 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion) in 2015 from 55 million euros in 2014. Revenue jumped 6.8 percent to 32.1 billion euros.

The profit and revenue figures beat estimates among financial analysts as compiled by financial information provider FactSet.

CEO Carsten Spohr said 2015 was an "emotionally very challenging year" due to the crash of subsidiary Germanwings' Flight 9525 in southern France last March 24. Investigators say co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately crashed the plane, killing 149 others.

Spohr said Thursday that lower fuel costs and efforts to reduce flying with empty seats had paid off. The airline is restructuring to compete with low-cost carriers in Europe and what it says are government-subsidized Gulf carriers.