It wasn't that long ago that any results from Europe's long-established network carriers were inevitably filled with doom and gloom as they reported ever-increasing losses.
Lufthansa Group's results for the first half of 2016 are different. There is the obligatory note of caution as the report highlights a drop in advance bookings in European inbound traffic as a consequence of terrorist incidents. It cites both US travel alerts for this summer and a drop in group travel from Europe.
It also points out that long-haul business is under increasing price pressure because of strategies of carriers based in the "Gulf" and "Bosphorus".
But overall the results are very positive as it says that sales in Europe have not fallen and revenues from North America have risen. The real star of the Group's results is very significantly the Passenger Airline Group which comprises Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines and Eurowings.
Some of the improvement in results has no doubt come about because of lower costs, especially for fuel which for the group was down 20.3%. Lufthansa passenger airlines' overall revenue fell 3.7% but its expenses were down by even more — by 8.1%.
Some of this cost reduction can no doubt be attributed to what Lufthansa sees as positive results from its progress with "personalisation" and "digitalisation".
According to the results, "Bookings made via digital channels are increasing constantly, and with them demand for services that can be booked individually."
It also reports that "The new sales strategy defined last year is starting to pay off. The Distribution Cost Charge (DCC) levied on tickets issued via a global reservation system has been accepted by the market.
"At the same time, the share of direct bookings at the network airlines has continually increased. Negotiations on direct bookings with customers, tour operators, travel agencies and technology providers are delivering a steady stream of successes.
"Demand has also increased for complementary services such as upgrades, baggage services, hotels, rental cars and insurance."
CEO Christian Spohr spoke further of the measures being taken to optimise revenue and contain costs during the analyst and investor conference call complementing the results. He cited product optimisation such as extending broadband internet on short-haul services and quantified the growth in direct online sales to be 25%.
The ability of airlines to sell ancillary services at the time of booking, whether through merchandising on GDS platforms such as Travelport or via IATA's NDC, is increasing.
All suppliers are seeking to grow direct bookings as a means to lower distribution costs. However, it should be noted that Lufthansa's figures do not distinguish between leisure and business travel and it could be realistically expected that the majority of the growth in online revenues would be in leisure sales.
However, what the results leave in no doubt is that airlines are adapting their products and processes to sell more ancillaries and grow their direct bookings and sales.
And this is their route to future success.