Next Stop: Permanent Revolution

Carsten Spohr-ap
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr hopes to implement a modernization program he presented two years ago.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    • Germany-based Lufthansa needs all the help it can get, after amassing losses of €133 million last year.
  • Facts


    • Lufthansa CEO and chairman Carsten Spohr has been battling unions, lengthy and frequent strikes and a stagnating financial performance.
    • In May, Lufthansa reported first-quarter operating losses of €21 million, blaming low demand for flights.
    • Airport operators and carriers have long been calling for measures, ranging from tax breaks to fee cuts, to help it compete with their global rivals.
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Carsten Spohr climbs a rickety stairway with dim lighting and walls painted in an unappealing green. Most of the buildings in the neighborhood are as rundown as this one.

After walking up four flights of stairs, the 49-year-old chief executive steps over a pair of kid’s shoes and enters an apartment strewn with discarded airplane passenger seats. He’s all smiles.

Mr. Spohr is a big fan of the Innovation Hub, a startup in Berlin launched by Lufthansa. He views the subsidiary, which develops apps for online businesses, as the nucleus of a new, digital Lufthansa. With ventures like this one and other novel ideas, he hopes to radically transform the 90-year-old airline.

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