Airlines continue to reduce their sails in the face of the spread of the Covid-19. Lufthansa announced Wednesday March 11 that the drastic reduction of its capacities decided because of the epidemic of the coronavirus will involve the cancellation of 23,000 flights between March 29 and April 24. “Due to the exceptional circumstances,” Lufthansa “is today publishing reduced flight plans,” the group said in a statement, adding that “further cancellations are expected in the coming weeks”. These flights are in addition to the 7,100 already canceled by the end of the winter flight plan on March 28.
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The airline giant announced Friday the reduction of up to 50% of its flight capacity, that is to say the number of passengers who can fly on the routes of the German group, due to a “drastic drop reservations “, attributed to the spread of Covid-19. “Adaptations for the period after April 25 will follow later,” added the company. These capacity reductions mainly concern Europe, Asia and the Middle East and Lufthansa aims to “keep accessible” all destinations with at least one group company from its hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels . Its Austrian Airlines subsidiary, for its part, announced in particular the abolition of all its flights with Italy “until further notice”. Same measure on the part of Brussels Airlines, another subsidiary, for the period “between March 12 and April 3”.
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Faced with the epidemic, the group will also freeze its hires and offer unpaid leave to its employees. Lufthansa is studying the option of partial unemployment, a spokesman told AFP. Its Austrian Airlines subsidiary filed Friday – for the first time since 2008 – a request to this effect at Pôle Emploi, with a desired start on April 1. Lufthansa “also assesses” the immobilization of “its entire fleet of Airbus A380”, ie 14 aircraft based in Frankfurt and Munich. The group suspended flights to mainland China, Iran and Israel and canceled part of its routes to Italy due to the virus. On the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the title, particularly affected by the market turmoil, has lost 38% since the beginning of the year and posted -2.25% to 10.19 euros around 15:10 GMT Wednesday.