Lufthansa scraps large jets amid coronavirus pandemic

German airline Lufthansa scraps large jets and warns air travel rebound will take years as Heathrow slashes staff pay and Tui cancels all beach holidays until May amid coronavirus crisis

  • Lufthansa said they would be shutting down their budget airline Germanwings
  • They said it would take years for demand for air travel to return to normal  level 
  • Comes the same day Heathrow staff asked to take a 15 per cent pay reduction 

Lufthansa will permanently shut down its large aircrafts to help keep its business afloat in the latest turmoil to hit the flight industry amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The German airline company, which also owns Australian Airlines, Swiss and Eurowings, today confirmed that they had been forced to cease their budget airline Germanwings and would be de-commissioning more than 40 aircrafts.

The company, which will also be retiring six Airbus A-380s, five Boeing 747-400s and seven Airbus A340-600 aircraft, added that it would take years for demand for air travel to return to levels seen before the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In a statement the company, which is also cutting flight capacity in Frankfurt and Munich, said: ‘Germanwings flight operations will be discontinued. All options resulting from this are to be discussed with the respective unions.’ 

Lufthansa will be closing down its large aircrafts to amid the coronavirus outbreak, it has been revealed. Pictured: Lufthansa planes remain grounded at Frankfurt Airport in Germany

The company, which also owns Australian Airlines, Swiss and Eurowings, confirmed that they had been forced to shut down their budget airline Germanwings 

The company also warned that it would take years for demand for air travel to return to that seen before the coronavirus crisis. Pictured: Lufthansa planes sit at an airport in Munich, Germany

The firm was unable to say what eventually would happen to the planes given lack of demand for aircraft at the moment but it was clear they would not fly for Lufthansa again.

The statement continued: ‘By its estimation it will take months, before the global travel restrictions are fully lifted and years before worldwide demand for air travel corresponds to the pre-crisis level.’

The company said it would be ceasing operations for its Germanwings brand, speeding up a move already decided before the crisis.

Its Eurowings low-cost division would retire 10 Airbus A320s, while its SWISS, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines group members would also reduce their fleets, in the case of SWISS by foregoing delivery of already ordered aircraft.

Currently, 700 of the group’s 760 planes are parked as air traffic amid the coronavirus crisis has dwindled.

The drastic move comes in the same day it was revealed that thousands of employees at London’s Heathrow Airport face losing their jobs if they do not accept a 15 per cent pay reduction.

It comes as Heathrow staff were asked to take a 15 per cent pay reduction amid the outbreak

Human resources chief Paula Stannett told staff  she was ‘not expecting anyone to opt out’ of the cuts in a memo

In a strongly-worded memo the human resources chief Paula Stannett, 54, said she was ‘not expecting anyone to opt out’ of the cuts, reported Sky News.

The memo read: ‘There will be consequences if colleagues do not accept the revised terms as it will mean that we have to make further job cuts.

‘It will also have consequences for those colleagues who do not wish to participate.’ 

She added: ‘In the unlikely case that colleagues continue to refuse to take part, dismissal and reinstatement might be the final step.

‘Obviously that is something I am keen to avoid, although I can confirm that is an option that is legally available to the company to take.’

Elsewhere, the travel firm TUI announced that they had cancelled all their beach holidays until May 14 and would be suspending their Marella Cruises sailings until at least June amid the virus pandemic. 

A spokeswoman said: ‘We are constantly monitoring the situation and will start taking people on holiday again as soon as we are able to do so. 

Meanwhile the travel company TUI have told holidaymakers that all beach holidays had been cancelled until May 14

The company also said that their Marella Cruises sailings had been axed until at least June due to the coronavirus crisis

On Saturday, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) warned Britons against all non-essential travel abroad indefinitely

‘At this point in time, nobody can accurately predict when that will be, so for the time being we will keep a close eye on our programme and continue to amend and adapt timings in line with the latest global travel advice.’  

It comes just days after the Foreign Office warned holidaymakers against making non-essential trips abroad amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

On Saturday a message on the Foreign Office Twitter page read: ‘The Foreign Office indefinitely advises against all non-essential global travel.’

The latest scenes comes as the nation continues to control the surge in coronavirus cases which has now hit 55,242.

Health officials also confirmed that 7,095 people in the country have now died from Covid-19.   



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