Up to 3,500 jobs are to go at Lufthansa as the German carrier seeks to cuts its administrative costs by a quarter.

The news of job losses in administrative departments worldwide over the next few years came as the airline blamed higher fees and taxes for first quarter losses.

These included an air traffic tax imposed in Germany and Austria and the costs of carbon emissions trading in Germany.

The airline posted a reduced loss of €379 million against €507 million in the same period last year on a rise in revenues of 5.6% to a record €6.6 billion.

Chairman Christoph Franz said: “We can only safeguard jobs for the long term and create new openings if we re-organise the administrative functions and accept job losses now.”

The aim was to achieve the cuts “preferably by means of socially responsible measures”.

Franz said: “Higher taxes, fees and charges put a massive strain on our quarterly result.

“We cannot wait until politicians also recognise the damage that one-sided taxes and charges do to aviation and to Europe’s reputation as a place to do business.”

Lufthansa said that fuel costs had risen by €304 million in the past year.

Looking forward, the airline said: “The prevailing economic uncertainty makes developments in demand difficult to forecast.

“The mood has lightened overall, however, and this, together with capacity discipline across the industry allows the airlines to manage yields and pricing actively.

“The extent to which these can be established on the market will determine earnings development in 2012 as much as the success of cost measures.”