Lufthansa Group Will Continue United States Flights Despite Ban

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The Lufthansa Group has announced that it will continue flying to the United States despite a travel ban. Last night, US President Donald Trump announced a ban on non-US citizens who don’t hold permanent resident status if they’ve traveled to a Schengen country in the past 14 days.

Lufthansa Group, Flight Cancellations, April
The Lufthansa Group will continue flying to the United States, despite a travel ban. Photo: Lufthansa

Today, airlines have been scrambling to work out how to respond to a travel ban imposed by Donald Trump. The ban came with no warning and goes into effect at midnight tomorrow. Essentially, any person who doesn’t hold US citizenship, or the right to permanent residence in the United States can not travel to the country if they’ve recently traveled to a Schengen nation. There are a few exceptions, and airlines are still trying to unravel the implications.

What has Lufthansa announced?

Lufthansa has announced that it, along with other members of its airline group, won’t suspend flights to the US entirely.

However, the Group will, of course, see a colossal decrease in demand on routes across the Atlantic. As a result, the airline’s previous flight plan to the United States has been thrown out of the window. All-day, the Group has been working on a revised plan, and it will maintain flights to the United States.

Trump address coronavirus aviation getty images
Trump’s decision to ban flights between Europe and the US will have a big impact on airlines. Photo: Getty Images

What will the schedule entail?

Rather than operate a lot of flights that will be nearly empty, Lufthansa has seriously trimmed its flight schedule. As a result, the airline will instead operate very few flights. However, it intends to consolidate passengers onto these flights in order to fill them. Hundreds of thousands of passengers will surely be inconvenienced because of last night‘s announcement.

In the words of the airline,

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“The Lufthansa Group will continue operating flights from Frankfurt to Chicago and Newark (New York), from Zurich to Chicago and Newark (New York), from Vienna to Chicago, and from Brussels to Washington beyond 14 March, thus maintaining at least some air traffic connections to the USA from Europe.”

Lufthansa, Coronavirus, Airbus A380
On Friday Lufthansa was considering grounding its entire Airbus A380 fleet as it deals with the effects of Coronavirus. Photo: Getty Images

Lufthansa added that once passengers were with in the United States, their partner United Airlines would convey them to their final destination. However, these flights are only useful for US citizens and lawful permanent residents. The rest will likely have to cancel or defer the trip until after the travel ban has passed. Currently, the plan is expected to last 30 days. However, it could always be extended.

What’s next?

We will likely see a number of further announcements from European airlines over the coming 24 hours. It may seem surprising that it has taken this long for airlines to act, however, they were given zero warning about this travel ban. Additionally, given the size of the US, many, many routes are affected.

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Have you been affected by Donald Trump‘s latest travel ban? Let us know how in the comments section.

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