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Lufthansa could need more money next year - Spiegel cites government document

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Lufthansa supervisory board discusses strategy amid the coronavirus pandemic

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government believes flag carrier airline Lufthansa could need more money next year, Der Spiegel magazine reported, citing an internal government document, though the government dismissed the report as "speculation".

It also cited an unnamed government representative as saying that officials and politicians were "losing patience" with airline chief Carsten Spohr, adding that there were doubts that he was the right man to make the savings needed.

But Hermann Thiele, a major shareholder, told the magazine he had confidence in Spohr: "Carsten Spohr is the right man in this difficult situation."

"The government put together a comprehensive rescue package for Lufthansa, creating liquidity for the company," the Economics Ministry said in a statement. "We will not get involved in speculation about the company's condition."

Germany's largest airline, which received a 9 billion euro (8.1 billion pounds) state bailout out in June, on Thursday reported a quarterly loss of 2 billion euros after the coronavirus pandemic decimated the global travel industry.

Spohr has previously said that the bailout should last Lufthansa until the end of 2021.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt and Christian Kraemer, editing by Kirsti Knolle and Paul Carrel)

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