Lufthansa narrows operating loss despite Germanwings crash, as fuel costs fall

FRANKFURT – German airline Lufthansa saw its operating losses narrow in the first quarter as fuel costs fell in the wake of lower oil prices.

Its operating loss of 167 million euros compared with a 240 million deficit a year ago. Fuel was 14 per cent cheaper – 36 per cent when the airline’s financial hedging is considered.

Once everything is accounted for, Lufthansa said Tuesday that it returned to profit during the period thanks to a 503 million-euro one-off gain as the airline accounted for realized gains on shares in U.S. airline JetBlue. Net profit came in at 425 million euros ($472 million).

Lufthansa is still reeling from the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 on March 24 in southern France. Investigators say co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately flew the plane into the mountains.

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