Lufthansa Group to reduce capacity by up to 50 percent, considers grounding A380

Photo: © Phillip Rohmberger / IFN

Lufthansa Group has announced that its airlines plan to reduce flight capacity by up to 50 percent amid the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, which has decimated demand.

The definitive level of reduction depends on ‘further development of demand’. It will apply to all passenger airlines of the group, including Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines and low-cost carrier Eurowings. This would inevitably lead to the grounding of even more aircraft than initially announced. In total, the Lufthansa Group operates around 750 passenger airplanes.

Due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the spread of Covid-19 and the resulting drastic decline in bookings as well as numerous flight cancellations Lufthansa Group decided to reduce the flight capacity on offer even more than previously planned.Lufthansa Group

Furthermore, Lufthansa says that it is considering to temporarily ground its fleet of 14 Airbus A380. The German flag-carrier operates the world’s largest passenger airliner at both its Frankfurt and Munich hubs.

The company states that these steps are part of its effort to reduce financial impact of the drop in demand, caused by the global Coronavirus crisis. Previously, Lufthansa Group had offered its employees to take unpaid leave and part-time work, and froze the hiring of new staff.

In late January, when the new Wuhan-originated virus first spread across mainland China, Lufthansa Group was among the first to suspend all flights to the country.

Multiple other airlines around the world have also, in varying depth, decided to suspend selected non-China flights, due to weakened bookings. This has led some, mostly those based in Asia, to ground parts of their fleets.