Lufthansa to ground 150 aircraft due to COVID-19

Lufthansa to ground 150 aircraft due to COVID-19

FRANKFURT: Lufthansa will ground 150 aircraft out of its total fleet of around 770 due to COVID-19, the German airline said on Wednesday (Mar 4), confirming what company sources had told Reuters earlier.

"We are dynamically adjusting our plans to reflect extraordinary circumstances," a Lufthansa spokesman said, adding that 25 of the 150 grounded aircraft are long-haul jets.

Last week Lufthansa said it had grounded 23 long-haul aircraft.

European airline bosses warned on Tuesday that the worst is still to come for the airline industry in terms of economic damage from the coronavirus outbreak, but they predicted that travel demand could stabilise in the coming weeks.

Lufthansa Group airlines, which include Swiss, Brussels and Austrian airlines, had already said on Friday that it would reduce the number of short- and medium-haul flights by up to 25 per cent in the coming weeks depending on how coronavirus spreads.

Lufthansa said on Monday that it was extending the suspension of flights to China until Apr 24, to Tehran until Apr 30 and reducing services to northern Italy due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Lufthansa has said it was too early to assess the impact on its earnings, which are due to be published on Mar 19.

Source: Reuters/ga