The Lufthansa Group announced on Wednesday that they would be cancelling 23,000 flights across the Group’s passenger airlines between March 29th through April 24, 2020. Austrian Airlines announced that they will reduce their flight program by up to 50%.
Last Friday (March 6, 2020), the Lufthansa Group announced that they would cut their flight schedules across the Group’s passenger airlines by up to 50 percent due to the current reduced-demand environment from the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, the company was also evaluating whether to ground their entire fleet of Frankfurt and Munich based Airbus A380s. Today, the Lufthansa Group announced that 23,000 flights had been cancelled for the period from March 29th through April 24, 2020 across the Group’s airlines. From today, customers affected by the cancellations will be notified of the changes and offered rebooking options. Schedule changes from April 25th will be announced later and the company said the current cancellations mainly affect Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Even with the schedule reductions, Lufthansa is taking care to ensure that the destinations impacted by cancellations will still be reachable by a Group airline via their Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels.
In a separate press release on Wednesday, Austrian Airlines (a Lufthansa Group carrier) announced that their flight program for their entire network would also be reduced by up to 50 percent. Last week Austrian announced the cancellation of around 20 percent of their flights for March and the additional cancellations extend trough the end of April. The changes include temporary route cancellations as well as suspension of all service to Italy until further notice. Temporary suspensions between the end of March until April 24, 2020 include service to Birmingham, Manchester, Lyon, Barcelona, Florence, Leipzig, Nuremberg, Salzburg, Oslo, Gothenburg, Krakow, Sibiu, Vilnius, Minsk and St. Petersburg. Seasonal service to Florence which was scheduled to begin in March has also been suspended until at least April 24th. Additionally, Austrian Airlines’ new service to Boston has been postponed from late March until June 2, 2020. Tel Aviv flights have also been suspended until April 24th and Austrian Holidays won’t operate flights to Italy from the start of the summer schedule in April.
In Wednesday’s announcement, Austrian Airlines’ Chief Commercial Officer, Andreas Otto said,
“Unfortunately, due to the development of the coronavirus, we are forced to intervene in our flight program even more strongly and painfully than before. The situation remains complex. Therefore, we cannot rule out further measures. We apologize to all affected customers for the irregularities of the flight schedule and ask for their understanding.”
For guests traveling to and from Salzburg, Austrian Airlines’ cooperation partner ӦBB will increase AIRail service to Vienna from three to as many as thirteen daily trains from April 1, 2020. The schedules will be timed to provide seamless connections for Austrian Airlines’ customers via the carrier’s Vienna hub. Customers impacted by the flight cancellations will naturally be rebooked free of charge or receive a refund upon request.
Source(s): Lufthansa Group, Austrian Airlines