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7 Apr, 2020 15:27

Lufthansa cuts fleet size, closes Germanwings due to Covid-19 losses

Lufthansa cuts fleet size, closes Germanwings due to Covid-19 losses

Germany’s largest airline Lufthansa is cutting its fleet, as the Covid-19 pandemic keeps biting the world’s economies. The carrier will also stop the operations of its low-cost subsidiary, Germanwings amid a drop in demand.

The company expects a period of “significant decline” in air travel to last long after the crisis unleashed by the coronavirus ends, Lufthansa said in a statement explaining its decision. The move appears to be the “first permanent capacity reduction.”

The downsizing of flight operations would affect the whole Lufthansa Group. That includes a permanent decommission of more than a dozen of its aircraft, including six Airbus A380 — the world’s biggest passenger planes with seating capacities of between 525 and 853 passengers. More planes are also expected to be phased out later.

However, the A380's were already set to be dumped in two years’ time, the company announced, citing environment reasons. Germwanwings appears to be worst-hit by the latest decision from Lufthansa since all flights of the low-coster “will be discontinued.”

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Airlines around the world have been among the industries worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which forced many nations to temporarily halt almost all air traffic and severely restrict trans-border movements.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) earlier said that the fallout from the Covid-19 could be worse for the industry than the aftermath of 9/11 terrorist attacks. The organization added that the global demand for flights fell by 14.1 percent in February already in comparison to the same period in 2019.

The prospects of recovery become increasingly grim as the dreaded disease seemingly continues to conquer new grounds around the world, despite severe quarantine measures taken by many nations. The airlines heave, meanwhile, already lost billions of dollars in revenues and are poised to lose even more.

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