The Lufthansa Group has canceled all flights to Tel Aviv for the next three weeks from the 8th of March. The move is prompted by increased travel restrictions enacted by the Israeli government and is part of over 7,000 flight cancellations announced by the group.
The current coronavirus outbreak is changing European aviation. As a result of the outbreak, passenger demand across Europe has plummeted, particularly to northern Italy. As a result, for economic and ecological reasons, airlines have been trimming services. The alternative option the airlines have is to continue to operate the flights, albeit half empty.
Tel Aviv cancellations
The Lufthansa Group has announced a swathe of route cuts today. However, by far the most drastic announcement concerns the airline Group’s flights to Israel. The Group said it felt it had been forced to cancel routes to Tel Aviv and Eilat for economic and operational reasons by the Israeli Authorities.
Israeli authorities have decided to extend their policy on restricting travel to the country from areas affected by the coronavirus outbreak. As a result, travelers from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland will be affected by the change. Demand will cleary drop for such flights, making it pointless to operate them.
The new restrictions go into force tomorrow, however, Lufthansa still has some flights scheduled for Saturday. These will primarily be used to return passengers from Israel.
7,100 flights canceled in March
However, the flight cancellations announced today don’t just affect Lufthansa group routes to Tel Aviv. In fact, over 7,000 flights have been canceled by the Lufthansa group for the course of March. Over half of these flight cancellations are from Lufthansa’s main hub of Frankfurt, with the remainder from Munich.
75 routes are affected from Frankfurt, with 65 from Munich. Of course, some are affected more than others. Routes to some countries such as to China, Iran, and Israel have been outright canceled. However, some others have just been trimmed.
The main focus of Lufthansa’s cancellations was actually much closer to home than the countries above. The airline has been cutting frequency on a number of domestic routes. Some of these are operated with a frequency of up to every half hour.
Beyond domestic routes, another key focus of frequency adjustments has been Italy, particularly in the north of the country. However, other flights across the Lufthansa network will also be affected by cancellations.
The airline advises passengers to ensure that their contact details are kept up to date in order to receive important flight updates. If the situation continues to evolve, more cancellations could be on the way.
Have you been affected by Lufthansa flight cancellations? Are you surprised by the number of canceled flights announced? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.