Lufthansa Group has announced that it will discontinue its subsidiary Germanwings, as it expects the current Coronavirus crisis to have an impact on demand even after the pandemic is over.
The Germany-based company, which owns airlines in several European countries, is taking steps to reduce its long-term operations, in line with expectations for lower air traffic. This affects all airlines of the group.
Germanwings was exclusively operating flights for low-cost carrier Eurowings. But as the latter is reducing its fleet beyond the temporary flight suspensions, Germanwings’ capacities are no longer needed and the airline will not take off again once travel restrictions are lifted. Both airlines are Lufthansa subsidiaries.
The parent has been looking to consolidate its low-cost arm Eurowings into a single airline prior to the current situation, but is now accelerating these plans.
Founded by Eurowings in 2002, Germanwings was a Cologne-based low-cost carrier. In 2009, Lufthansa took over and a few years later transferred its non-Frankfurt and Munich routes to the airline. Germanwings reached its highest point in 2014, when it was operating almost 90 aircraft. One year later, the airline was gradually integrated with Eurowings’ business and flight operations, but kept its own name and aircraft – until now.
Lufthansa itself will also permanently retire a number of aircraft, including some Airbus A340-600, A380 and Boeing 747-400 and therefore downsize its total fleet.
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Jakob Wert is an aviation journalist from Germany. He built up the website IFN.news and is the Editor-In-Chief of International Flight Network.