Lufthansa to suspend 150 flights amid coronavirus outbreak

The airline giant announced the grounding of 150 of its more than 750 flights, days after declaring to slim-down timetable over the impact of COVID-19

Lufthansa, air travel, Vande Bharat Mission, Air India, India, coronavirus, COVID-19, Lockdown
There is a pent up demand for outbound international travel, especially among non-resident Indians (NRIs) who are in a hurry to go back either for personal or professional reasons.

German airline company Lufthansa on Wednesday (March 2) said that it would stop the flight of 150 of its aircraft globally amid the deadly coronavirus taking over the world and claiming more than 3,000 lives.

The airline giant announced the grounding of 150 of its more than 750 flights, days after declaring to slim-down timetable over the impact of COVID-19, reported AFP.

“25 long-haul aircraft and 125 short- and medium-haul aircraft” will no longer fly, a spokesman for the group also including carriers Eurowings, Austrian and Swiss told AFP.

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Earlier in the day, shares of the airline were slightly up trading in Frankfurt, adding about 0.6 per cent to trade at $13.29 just after 3:30 pm but slightly underperforming the DAX blue-chip index. However, it is still about 27 per cent lower than at the start of the year.

Related news: Coronavirus: Cases at 29; govt asks people to avoid mass gatherings

The shares of the aviation sector, in general, have plunged in the backdrop of the fast-spreading COVID-19 infection.

Lufthansa, on Monday (March 2) said it would slash its flight plan by 25 per cent, specifically on short- and medium routes, including virus-hit regions of Italy and also in Germany. The airline has also temporarily shut routes to other hotspots, including the origin point in China and Iran until late April.

Lufthansa has also suspended new hires as part of its measures to cushion the business impact of the virus, which it said Monday was “not yet possible to estimate”, according to a report in AFP.

The International Civil Aviation Organization has said that the virus outbreak could mean a $4-5 billion drop in worldwide airline revenue.

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