German flag carrier Lufthansa is planning to request state aid. This comes as the airline’s CEO Carsten Spohr warned that 2/3rds of the airline Group’s 800 odd aircraft will be grounded.
The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t been kind to any airline. In fact, it already pushed Flybe over the edge, although the airline was already in trouble. Even the biggest and most well-established airlines are struggling. In fact, earlier today Simple Flying reported that job cuts would be necessary at British Airways. However, it seems as though Lufthansa is also being hit by the full effects of the crisis which has been described as worse than 9/11.
Many flights canceled
As a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, airlines around the world have seen flight loads plummet. Simultaneously, air travel demand has tanked. This is affecting almost every airline, and even those with strong financial positions are aware that things can’t carry on without change.
Lufthansa has been affected by a decrease in passengers as well as government bans. The German flag carrier previously cut flights to Israel over increased entry restrictions. Now, according to Reuters, the airline will operate just four flights to the United States tomorrow. On a normal day, the airline group would operate 70 flights.
As a result of the huge fall in the number of flights it is operating, the Lufthansa Group has had to ground a number of aircraft. In fact, while we’ve seen many aircraft parked up at Frankfurt, Munich, and Berlin, it seems like even more will be grounded. Lufthansa’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, told Reuters that 2/3rds of the airline group’s fleet will now be grounded.
What about state aid?
Alongside grounding aircraft, the Lufthansa Group is also reportedly approaching the German Government for state assistance. A Lufthansa spokesperson told Simple Flying:
“We are using all available means to secure our liquidity. But in this serious situation, politics is also called for. Measures such as the interest-free deferral or postponement of taxes or the suspension of industry-specific fees would help to ease the situation.”
They added: “Given this exceptional situation, it is right that the Federal Government of (Germany) is sending clear signals to mitigate the economic consequences of the corona crisis with comprehensive measures.”
Each airline seems to be taking different measures in order to try and secure their futures at this difficult time. The CEOs of Qantas and JetBlue have announced that they will sacrifice parts of their salaries. Meanwhile, British Airways’ CEO has said that staff cuts will be necessary.
Across the board, however, airlines have been cutting flights and grounding aircraft. In particular, many airlines including Lufthansa are looking to ground their fleet of Airbus A380s.
Do you think Lufthansa should be granted state aid at this difficult time? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!