Lufthansa plans to resume flights to 20 more cities in mid-June, in a bid to bounce back from the corona-crisis. Some of the 20 cities will include summer holiday destinations across Europe, such as Ibiza and Malaga.
After announcing that the Lufthansa Group will end repatriation flights from May 31st, the German carrier has been quick to come up with a robust schedule for June.
The flight expansion comes less than two weeks after the airline decided to resume long-haul flights early next month. Furthermore, Lufthansa will double its number of operational aircraft from 80 to 160 to accommodate the expansion.
New flight destinations
With the resumption, these flights will depart from the carrier’s central hub, Frankfurt. The upcoming destinations will comprise of:
- Heraklion (Crete)
A Lufthansa spokesperson told Simple Flying that the remaining 13 destinations will be revealed at the end of the week. All flights will begin in the middle of next month.
Lufthansa will also resume additional long-haul flights in early June, with flights taking off from Frankfurt and Munich. Destinations include Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, Chicago, Toronto, Dubai, and Mumbai.
As per an official statement made by Harry Hohmeister of the Executive Board of Lufthansa AG, he believes the flight expansion will “contribute to a revitalization of aviation infrastructure.”
“People want to and can travel again, whether on holiday or for business reasons. That’s why we will continue to expand our offer step by step in the coming months and connect Europe with each other and Europe with the world,” he added.
In total, Lufthansa Group plans to operate 1,800 flights weekly by the end of next month. The plans will depend on possible flight restrictions as per each country’s government measures.
For those holding onto flight tickets, they will have the option of rebooking to any date before December 31st 2021. The rebooking will be free of charge only for the same route and class of the travel.
$9.9bn government bailout
On top of that, the German airline is currently awaiting $9.9bn from the government to tide it over the corona-crisis. The bailout presents as a lifeline for the carrier’s struggle to overcome the drastic pause on flights plaguing the past few months.
The handout does not come easily, though, as the government has introduced conditions before the deal goes through.
Should Lufthansa accept the $9.9bn, the government will receive a 20% stake in the airline, making it the largest shareholder. Additionally, entrepreneurs under the government will make up two seats on the supervisory board.
Fleet grounded until 2023
Although it seems like things are picking up, Lufthansa believes it will still have hundreds of aircraft grounded until 2023.
As reported by Reuters, the German executive board mentioned, “300 aircraft would remain grounded in 2021 and that 200 aircraft would be grounded in 2022.”
In 2023, the committee believes the airline will not be operating 100 of its aircraft.
As a result, the airline’s Airbus A380’s are most affected. Currently being parked in Spain’s aircraft graveyard, seven of the airline’s A380s may never fly again. Lufthansa might join Air France, the first airline to retire its entire fleet of Airbus A380s.
The summer months are upon us, which is usually the peak time for travel. Airlines are starting to resume its operations, believing passengers are ready to start flying again.
However, with the virus outbreak keeping most people in lockdown – are travelers really prepared to leave their homes and start flying as early as next month? Only time will tell.
What do you think about Lufthansa’s current flight expansion? Do you think it is too soon to start flying again? Let us know in the comments.