It seems the Human Malware (Covid-19) is having a deep impact at Lufthansa Group, with the group announcing it was going to cut flights by up to 50% and ground 14 aircraft – namely the A380 fleet
The changes will impact the passenger-carrying network – namely
- Air Dolomiti
- Austrian Airlines
- Brussels Airlines
- Swiss International Air Lines
Expect the airlines’ subsidiaries to be hit too.
The group blames Covid-19 causing a drastic decline in bookings. Whilst the airline has been cutting flights in response – it seems a more drastic response is needed.
As usual – check your bookings as the weeks’ progress.
In addition, the group is examining if it is feasible to park its fleet of 14 Airbus A380 aircraft (which operate out of the airline at Frankfurt and Munich).
So why the move?
Aircraft are costly to keep in the sky (and to keep on the ground). With passenger demand seemingly going through the floor, Lufthansa Group is trying to contain the consequences of having aircraft in the sky with fewer passengers, and rather strengthen demand on routes where possible.
Of course, there is the human cost to this – and the airline has implemented an immediate hiring freeze, as well as offering unpaid leave and bringing forward annual leave.
The company is in talks with its operating partners and trade unions in order to avoid dismissals – among other measures – by means various part-time models, including probationary periods.
This is big
For one airline to slash 50% of their flights is worrying – pointing to softness in their own network. For one of the largest aviation groups to take a 50% axe to its network, park up its largest aircraft as well as letting staff work when they need too…
… it’s big.
And it points to how soft the market is Europe.
Will Air France-KLM and IAG react? I don’t think that they won’t be planning similar actions to reduces costs and exposure.
But this time – Lufthansa Group blinked first – and it bodes poorly for other airlines.
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