The corona crisis continued to have a considerable impact on Lufthansa Group's earnings development in the third quarter of 2020. However, due to an expansion of the flight schedule in the summer months of July and August and considerable cost reductions, losses were reduced compared to the second quarter. On a preliminary basis, Adjusted EBIT in the third quarter was EUR -1,262 million (previous year: EUR 1,297 million). After nine months, the operating loss was EUR -4,161 million (previous year: EUR 1,715 million).
The Adjusted free cash flow for the first nine months of 2020 amounted to EUR -2,579 million (previous year: EUR 685 million). In the third quarter, Adjusted free cash flow was EUR -2,069 million (previous year: EUR 416 million). Payments of EUR 2.0 billion for corona-related flight cancellations were partly offset in the third quarter by cash inflows from the expansion of flight activities in July and August. The Group also benefited from strict working capital management and the postponement of tax payments. Net debt at the end of the third quarter was EUR 8,930 million (December 31, 2019: EUR 6,662 million).
At the end of September, the Group had liquidity of EUR 10.1 billion at its disposal. This figure includes undrawn funds from the EUR 9 billion stabilization packages from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium. Out of those, EUR 6.3 billion are still available.
The Group is also in a position to withstand further burdens from the corona pandemic. Demand for air travel is expected to remain low in the coming winter months due to the global evolution of the pandemic and the associated travel restrictions. According to current planning, the Group's airlines will only offer a maximum of 25% of the previous year's capacity in the fourth quarter to ensure that flight operations continue to generate a positive cash contribution. At the same time, Lufthansa Group is working intensively on restructuring measures in all business segments in order to achieve short and medium-term cost savings and minimize the operating cash outflow.
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