Lufthansa Group slumped to a first quarter loss of €1.2 billion as air travel almost ground to a halt due to Covid-19.

This compared to a profit of €336 million achieved in the same three months last year.

Group revenue in the first quarter fell by 18% to €6.4 billion and cost cuts could only partially offset the revenue decline in the quarter, according to the German airline group.

The slump into the red came as Lufthansa moved to agree a €9 billion state bailout after European Commission concessions over the release of certain take off and landing slots at Frankfurt and Munich were hammered out.

A major restructuring plan will be necessary to repay loans and deposits as quickly as possible, the carrier warned.

Lufthansa chef executive Carsten Spohr said: “Global air traffic has come to a virtual standstill in recent months.

“This has impacted our quarterly results to an unprecedented extent.

“In view of the very slow recovery in demand, we must now take far-reaching restructuring measures to counteract this.”

Capacity will increase from 3% of original planning in May to up to 40% in September.

The results for the first quarter of 2020 were postponed from April 30 due to the effects of the coronavirus crisis.