Initial signs of a stabilization in volumes are far away from making up for the enormous and unrelenting pressure stemming from the massive fall in price levels, the German flagship carrier said on Thursday.
Industry body IATA echoed Lufthansa's warning, saying it was still too early to talk about a recovery. IATA has said it sees the world's airlines losing $11 billion this year as consumers tightened their purse strings and companies cut travel budgets.
The worst may be over in terms of the fall in demand, but yields continue to be a disaster and costs are rising, IATA said.
Airlines around the world have been crippled by a toxic mixture of reduced spending on travel, a drop in global trade and rising oil prices. To cut their bloated cost bases, many have grounded planes and canceled or deferred plane orders.
Lufthansa has rescheduled some aircraft deliveries to save 1 billion euros ($1.5 billion) over the next three years. Plane makers Boeing
Demand has suffered especially this year in the highly profitable business class segment as companies ask staff to book cheaper seats.
Finnish national carrier Finnair
Air cargo is in even worse shape than passenger demand as global trade remains at low levels, IATA said. Lufthansa, which operates Europe's biggest air cargo fleet, said revenue in the sector was still falling steeply due to declining prices.
Lufthansa shares were up 2.2 percent at 10.60 euros by 1119 GMT (7:19 a.m. EDT), while Finnair was down 1.3 percent.
CASH IS KING
What we have seen so far does not indicate at all that the tough times for the airline industry will be over soon. The environment will remain challenging for some time and we still do not expect significant positive newsflow in the short term, said MM Warburg analyst Michael Bahlmann.
Japan Airlines <9205.T>, Asia's largest airline by revenue, is asking the government for a huge bailout as it heads for its fourth annual loss in five years, weighed down by $15 billion in debt and crippling pension costs.
Stronger airlines that still have cash to spend have been able to take advantage of the crisis's severity by scooping up smaller rivals that got into financial trouble and sought help from investors.
BA has also been in merger talks with Spain's Iberia
Lufthansa last year agreed to a raft of acquisitions, including Austrian Airlines
British Airways is scheduled to publish quarterly results on November 6 and Air France on November 18.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by John Stonestreet)