Lufthansa has slashed its profit forecast for this year amid a sharp drop in long-haul bookings to Europe. The German carrier blamed "repeated terrorist attacks in Europe" and greater political and economic uncertainty in the region for the fall in demand.

It lowered its full-year profit forecast to "below previous year" from "slightly above previous year".

Lufthansa posted revenues of €15bn (£12.5bn; $16.5bn) for the first six months of 2016, down from €15.4bn in the same period last year.

Operating profits came in at €529m compared to €468m in 2015.

"Advance bookings, especially on long-haul routes to Europe, have declined significantly, in particular due to repeated terrorist attacks in Europe and to greater political and economic uncertainty since the original forecast was made in March," Lufthansa said in a statement.

"As of today, the executive board regards a complete recovery as not likely anymore."

Unit revenue in the passenger airline division will be "significantly weaker" in the third quarter, the airline warned.

Terror attacks

Europe has been hit by a string of terrorist attacks in recent months. Last week an attacker in a lorry killed 84 people in Nice, while a gun and bomb attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport killed dozens in June.

More than 30 people died after bombings at Brussels airport and a metro station in the Belgian capital in March.

Lufthansa
Lufthansa anticipates a significant hit to long-haul bookings to Europe due to recent terror attacksReuters

The attacks have hit airlines and tour operators hard — British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group and EasyJet have both slashed their profit expectations in recent weeks.

Lufthansa said it anticipated unit revenue to fall by 8% to 9% in the second half of the year after adjusting for changes in the exchange rate.

Meanwhile, Germany's biggest airline is reported to be holding talks to buy around a quarter of the planes owned by Air Berlin.

The Reuters agency said Lufthansa could buy up to 40 of Air Berlin's fleet of 150 planes, including crews.