Lufthansa suffered a deepening first quarter net loss of €459 million, 16.5% worse than the same period last year.

The German group partly blamed restructuring costs and the impact of industrial action but said it was on course to generate an operating profit of more than €524 million this year.

Lufthansa is aiming for an operating profit of €2.3 billion in 2015 as the result of ongoing cost-cuts.

Yesterday’s quarterly figures were published 24 hours after the carrier concluded a pay deal with unions aimed at ending costly strikes.

Finance director Simone Menne highlighted how most of the group’s operating companies, led by its airlines, improved their performance in the first quarter as average fares increased 0.9%.

But she emphasised the need to complete the restructuring at Lufthansa.

“In competition with well-funded competitors, especially from the Middle East and Far East, and with low-cost airlines in Europe, we need new structures that will allow us to generate higher profits again,” Menne told the Financial Times.

“Putting the agreed measures into practice remains a challenge. We nevertheless intend to pursue our chosen path and shape our future with the required perseverance.”