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As a result of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Lufthansa is making drastic capacity cuts. In a statement, the executive board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG says it does not expect the aviation industry to return to pre-coronavirus crisis levels very quickly. “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,” says the company.

As part of the cuts, Lufthansa is permanently decommissioning six Airbus A380s and seven A340-600s as well as five Boeing 747-400s. In addition, 11 Airbus A320s will be withdrawn from short-haul operations.

The six A380s were already scheduled for sale to Airbus in 2022. The decision to phase out seven A340-600s and five Boeing 747-400s was taken based on the environmental as well as economic disadvantages of these aircraft types. With this decision, Lufthansa will be reducing capacity at its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich.

Furthermore, Lufthansa Cityline will also withdraw three Airbus A340-300 aircraft from service. Since 2015, the regional carrier has been operating flights to long-haul tourist destinations for Lufthansa.

Eurowings will also be reducing the number of its aircraft. In the short-haul segment, an additional ten Airbus A320s are planned to be phased out.

Eurowings long-haul business, which is run under the commercial responsibility of Lufthansa will also be reduced, and Germanwings flight operations will be discontinued.

In addition, the implementation of Eurowings objective of bundling flight operations into only one unit, which was defined before the crisis, will now be accelerated.

The restructuring programs already initiated at Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines will be further intensified due to the coronavirus crisis. Among other things, both companies are working on reducing their fleets. SWISS International Air Lines will also adjust its fleet size by delaying deliveries of new short-haul aircraft and consider early phase-out of older aircraft.

The aim remains the same for all employees affected by the restructuring measures: to offer as many people as possible continued employment within the Lufthansa Group. Therefore, talks with unions and workers councils are to be arranged quickly to discuss, among other things, new employment models in order to keep as many jobs as possible.

Lufthansa is doing its part to help during the pandemic. Yesterday, a Lufthansa Cargo aircraft carrying eight million protective masks on board landed in Munich, Germany. The Boeing 777F, named “Olá Brazil”, departed Shanghai and, after a brief stopover in Seoul, continued its flight to Munich.

The eight million masks, packed in 4,000 cartons, weighed 52,000 pounds.

“Especially now, cargo flights are of utmost importance for medical facilities but also for craftsmen and large corporations. We are doing everything we can to maintain supply chains during this crisis and ensure that people receive sufficient supplies. This is an important part of our corporate responsibility as a leading European aviation group,” said Carsten Spohr, chairman of the executive board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, in a statement.

At present, all 17 Lufthansa Cargo freighters are continuously operating to transport urgently needed goods, such as medical supplies, around the world, and to Germany. In addition to the regular cargo flights, this week, there will be 25 special flights with Lufthansa passenger aircraft, used solely as freighters.

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