Russian air space closure means millions in extra costs -Lufthansa CEO

The International Air Transport Association holds its Annual General Meeting in Boston
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr takes part in a panel discussion at the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) Annual General Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., October 4, 2021. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

BERLIN, March 3 (Reuters) - Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) Chief Executive Carsten Spohr said routing flights to avoid Russian air space will increase costs for the German flagship carrier by a single-digit million-euro amount per month.

"Some long-haul planes are now up to 15 hours in the air to reach countries like China, Japan, South Korea," said Spohr during a call with journalists on Thursday.

He said higher fuel costs would be partly offset by ceased royalties to Russia for overflights and that some passenger flights to Asia were worth operating due to cargo capacity.

Passenger flights in Asia made up less than 2% of available seat kilometers due to ongoing travel restrictions in China and other Asian countries, a steep drop from the 20% they made up before the coronavirus pandemic hit the industry, Spohr said, who described the impact as small.

Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach Writing by Miranda Murray Editing by Madeline Chambers

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