“The current crisis is putting a strain on our profits, but our foundations are solid and we have the right instruments to take counter action. Now we will see who is prepared and able to react effectively against these difficult conditions,” said Stephan Gemkow (photo), the Chief Financial Officer for Lufthansa.

Lufthansa’s revenue in the first three months of 2009 was 5 billion euros, 10.3 per cent less than the year before. The main reason for this reduction was the lower number of passengers and the amount of freight transported.

The airline operator carried 12.1 million passengers globally in first quarter, down 7% from prior-year quarter.

The number of the German-based airline carrier’s passengers dropped following the difficult economic conditions. The capacity has been reduced similarly.

The load factor in January-March dropped by 3.1%, down to 74.1%.

Lufthansa and Swiss airlines (carrier bought by Lufthansa in 2005) carried an aggregated number of 15 million passengers in first quarter this year, 6% less than in prior-year quarter.

Currently, Romania is the second largest market for Lufthansa in south-east Europe, after Poland, and representatives of the carrier don’t exclude the possibility of extending Lufthansa flights to other local airports.

Last year, the company carried 550,000 passengers to and from Romania, up 10% from 2007, but 50,000 passengers below forecasts on growing economic woes in the second half of 2008.