The weather radar in the nose of an Airbus A340-300 has a diameter of 72 centimetres. This enables the pilots to continuously observe the weather situation within a radius of up to 320 nautical miles around the aircraft. The required focussing of the radar beam in the aircraft is achieved by interconnecting many small antennas. In comparison with a parabolic antenna, this type of radar saves space and requires less maintenance.
Creating value with foresight
Just like an aircraft at an altitude of 10,000 metres, the aviation industry is permanently exposed to a variety of changing external influences. In order to (re)actappropriately in this environment it is vital for the Group management to be aware of developments in the Company’s nearer and wider sphere. Acting with foresight therefore plays a crucial role in all Company developments and decisions. Only then are we able to maintain our chosen course even in poor visibility, to identify risks in time and to take either preventive measures or predetermined evasion manoeuvres as necessary. It also enables us to recognise opportunities at an early stage and, after an appropriate analysis of their risk-return profile, to make use of them.
The significance of this far-sightedness for strategic decisions can be illustrated by several examples from the past. Twelve years ago for instance Lufthansa was the driving force behind and co-founder of the first global airline alliance, in early recognition of the necessity of being able to offer passengers a worldwide network. Today, the Star Alliance is the largest network by far and a vital reason for our success. That is because these cooperations enable us to gain swift market access, while limiting capital expenditure and the risks of market entry at the same time.
We are also ready to invest in a deeper partnership wherever it appears to make strategic and economic sense. The takeover and successful integration of SWISS was an example of this foresight. Today, the transaction is seen as exemplary for takeovers in the aviation sector, as both companies complement each other excellently and wide-ranging synergies are being realised. Our planned investments in Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines follow the same risk-return principles. By contrast, in Italy we decided to develop our own strong brand.
Foresight also plays a key role for us in managing the wide range of financial risks. Systematically hedging currency and fuel price risks, for instance, makes these factors less volatile and more predictable as a result and our minimum liquidity is always available to use when needed. It thereby allows us to maintain our chosen course longer and gives us more time to react appropriately to changes in external circumstances.
In future, too, we will make our corporate decisions with the necessary prudence and foresight and retain our focus on sustainable value creation.