Due to entry restrictions in many countries and a collapse in demand, the Lufthansa Group was forced to make drastic cutbacks in its flight operations. Air Dolomiti conducted its last flight for the time being yesterday, 18 March. Today the last regular scheduled flight of Austrian Airlines landed in Vienna. With the exception of special flights, Austrian Airlines is suspending its flight operations until 28 March. Brussels Airlines will not be offering any regular flights in the period from 21 March to 19 April.
Lufthansa is discontinuing its long-haul operations in Munich and will initially only offer long-haul flights from Frankfurt. SWISS will offer only three weekly long-haul flights a week to Newark (USA) in addition to a substantially reduced short- and medium-haul schedule. Lufthansa’s short-haul program will also be substantially reduced further, and only Lufthansa CityLine services will be operated from Munich. From the hubs in Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich, only a few European metropolitan areas will be served. The relief flight schedule runs until April 19 and only provides for a total of about five percent of the originally planned program. Around 700 of the Lufthansa Group’s 763 aircraft will be temporarily parked.
In order to bring as many people as possible back home quickly, Lufthansa Group airlines are also operating numerous special relief flights around the world. This is also possible due to the unparalleled support and solidarity of the crews as well as ground staff, who at a moment’s notice volunteered their assistance.
In close consultation with the governments of their home countries and on behalf of tour operators, Lufthansa Group airlines are currently offering around 140 special relief flights. More than 20,000 passengers are thus flying home with Lufthansa, Eurowings, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Edelweiss. The figures alone include the special flights that were firmly planned until yesterday. Numerous other special flights will follow in the next few days.
In addition, the Lufthansa Group is making every effort to ensure that supply chains in Germany and Europe do not come to a standstill. Lufthansa Cargo continues to fly its regular programme, except for cancellations to mainland China, keeping the entire freighter fleet in the air. This currently consists of seven Boeing 777Fs, six MD11Fs and four 777Fs from Aerologic. In addition, the company is currently examining the possibility of using passenger aircraft without passengers as pure cargo aircraft in order to further increase cargo capacity.