Lufthansa Group saw annual earnings double in 2015 to €1.5 billion despite the Eurowings crash a year ago and strike action.

The German group’s performance was helped by lower fuel costs and higher passenger carryings.

Lufthansa Group revenues rose by 6.8% year-on-year to €32.1 billion.

Adjusted earnings [EBIT] at Lufthansa increased by 143% over 2014 to €970 million.

Eurowings achieved earnings of €8 million on revenues of €1.9 billion – a performance which exceeded what the group described as an “ambitious 2015 target of a break-even”.

Swiss International Air Lines saw profits rise by 54% to €429 million, while Austrian Airlines increased earnings to €52 million from €9 million in 2014.

Group chairman, Carsten Spohr, said: “With the Germanwings tragedy, 2015 was an emotionally very challenging year for the Lufthansa Group.

“The numerous strikes were a further burden. Nevertheless, we continued to successfully work on our group’s future viability. And our strategic realignment is progressing well.”

He added: “2015 was a good year in economic terms.

“The doubling in the passenger airlines’ result is not only due to lower fuel costs, but also to the favourable developments in our passenger volumes and to our capacity discipline.

“The result also confirms that our focus on quality in both the premium and the point-to-point segment is the right approach.”

Looking forward, Spohr said: “For 2016 we are aiming to increase our result for the Lufthansa Group again.

“We aim to enhance the profitability of our hub airlines by further modernising their fleets and further increasing efficiency.

“We will only grow capacity where our cost structures are competitive. We will expand Eurowings substantially and enlarge the route network.

“We will foster innovations in all business areas and make travel for our customers even more pleasant and simpler through digitalization and corresponding new offers.”