Lufthansa has cut back its growth estimate for the fourth quarter as it seeks to offset pressure on ticket prices by offering fewer seats than originally planned. 

European airlines are grappling with falling ticket prices as carriers put more seats onto the market to try to take advantage of low fuel prices and gain market share. 

Attacks in Europe have also unsettled consumers, adding to pressure, while Britain's vote to leave the European Union has unsettled some corporate demand. 

Providing a further headache for Lufthansa, low-cost rival Ryanair announced today that it plans to start flying from Lufthansa's main base Frankfurt next year. 

Lufthansa - Germany's biggest airline - said it now expected capacity growth of 8.7% in the fourth quarter, taking a further 1 percentage point off previous plans. 

That takes its total growth for 2016 to 5.2%, from a previous 5.4%.

Aer Lingus and British Airways owner IAG cut its 2016 capacity growth target last week to 4.4%.

Lufthansa confirmed that it expects unit revenues in its passenger airlines business to drop by 7-8% in the fourth quarter, a slight improvement on a previous forecast for an 8-9% drop. 

The airline is struggling to bring down costs, with strikes at its budget units last week and a deal with its pilots on pay and pensions still outstanding. 

Ryanair, on the other hand, can afford to add more seats to the market than its older rivals because of its low cost base and business model, which fills planes irrespective of ticket price to minimise passenger costs and boost spending on extras. 

"Anyone can produce a low fare, producing a low fare with a margin is the trick," Ryanair's chief operating officer David O'Brien said at a conference last week. 

Lufthansa's shares opened down 1% today, but turned positive after chief executive Carsten Spohr said Ryanair moving in to Frankfurt could mean lower charges at the hub for Lufthansa too. 

The shares had gained almost 18% in October after the carrier upgraded its profit forecast two weeks ago, when it pre-released third-quarter results and said business bookings proved better than expected in September.