Lufthansa grounds Germanwings

Lufthansa, the leading German airline group, announced on Tuesday it would cease operating its budget regional subsidiary Germanwings, while reducing operations across the board due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“It will take months until the global travel restrictions are completely lifted and years until the worldwide demand for air travel returns to pre-crisis levels. Germanwings flight operations will be discontinued,” Lufthansa’s executive board said in a statement, adding that a number of aircraft will be also be decommissioned.

Around 700 out of Lufthansa’s 763 aircraft are currently sitting on the ground, and it is currently flying at around 5% of its schedule before the coronavirus crisis, DW reports.

Lufthansa said it would be reducing capacity at its German hub airports in Frankfurt and Munich, due to an expected reduction in passengers.

It will also whittle down fleet sizes for the flagship carrier Lufthansa and subsidiary Eurowings. Low-cost carrier Eurowings will decommission an additional 10 short-haul Airbus A320s.

Though Lufthansa discontinued the Cologne-based Germanwings brand and replaced it with Eurowings in 2015, Germanwings had continued flying as a wet-lease operator for Eurowings under its own flight numbers.

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