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A Lufthansa A380 departs from San Francisco International Airport (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Ben Suskind)

Lufthansa Reduces Flights By 50 Percent

The Lufthansa Group has announced that it will reduce its current flight schedule by up to 50 percent, in response to the spread of the Covid-19 virus. The airline is also contemplating grounding its fleet of 14 Airbus A380 aircraft.

The reduction in flights will come over the next few weeks and will affect all airlines in the Lufthansa Group. The group includes nine airlines across Europe, including the national airlines of Germany, Austria, and Belgium. 

Like airlines across the globe, the Lufthansa Group has seen a sharp decline in the number of bookings since the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus began late last year. The airline is also looking at plans to temporarily ground its fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft until travel demand rebounds. The airline is the third largest A380 operator in the world with 14 aircraft.

The airline is also planning numerous cost-saving measures as well to reduce the burden of weakened demand.

The group has already announced that it is initiating a hiring freeze as well as offering voluntary unpaid leave to employees. The group is also working with its unions to look at options that will prevent the need to dismiss employees during this downturn. The group will also reduce material costs and project budgets as cost-saving measures.

Lufthansa does not know the current financial impact of the decrease in travel from the virus but will publish financial figures later in the month. 

The virus outbreak has had a strong impact on the airline industry. Earlier in the week British regional airline Flybe went into administration and shut down, partly due to weak demand from the outbreak. In the United States, United Airlines has announced a hiring freeze as well as a reduction in its flying schedule. Multiple airlines are offering fee waivers for upcoming travel, giving passengers greater flexibility as the outbreak continues. 

Daniel Morley
Daniel Morley
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