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AVIATION

Lufthansa demands EU compensation for volcano losses

The head of the German airline Lufthansa called Monday for the European Union to pay carriers compensation for business lost owing to the closure of European airspace after the eruption of an Icelandic volcano.

Lufthansa demands EU compensation for volcano losses
Photo: DPA

“We don’t want any subsidies but we want compensation since we have been forced to be grounded and it was not necessary,” Wolfgang Mayrhuber told a Berlin press conference organised by the International Air Transport Association.

Around 100,000 flights were cancelled in April after EU authorities closed large parts of the continent’s airspace to commercial traffic amid fears that volcanic ash could severely damage jet engines.

Airlines lost an estimated $1.8 billion dollars (€2.2 billion) as a result of the decision.

“There is probably an intelligent way to compensate airline companies,” Mayhruber said.

He suggested one way would be to freeze a European emission trading scheme known as ETS that aims to cap greenhouse emissions.

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MALLORCA

Lufthansa fires up ‘jumbo jet’ for surge in German tourists bound for Mallorca

German airline Lufthansa said Friday it was taking "extraordinary measures" to meet surging bookings for the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca, deploying a jumbo jet to ferry passengers from Frankfurt.

Lufthansa fires up 'jumbo jet' for surge in German tourists bound for Mallorca
Tourists enjoy the first days of summer on the island of Mallorca. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/AP | Francisco Ubilla

The group said it had seen a jump in reservations from German sunseekers in recent weeks, as concerns about the pandemic ease thanks to falling infection numbers and vaccination progress across Europe.

To meet demand, Lufthansa said it would swap the 215-seat Airbus A321 that usually plies the Frankfurt-Mallorca route for its Boeing 747-8 “jumbo jet”.The 747, also known as the “Queen of the Skies”, can carry 364 people and is the largest plane in Lufthansa’s fleet.

The super-large planes normally fly transatlantic routes but have been
mostly grounded since the pandemic upended air travel.

READ ALSO: ‘I really needed a break’: Pandemic-weary Germans find freedom on Mallorca

“Lufthansa is taking extraordinary measures in order to respond to a significant increase in booking demand for flights to Palma de Mallorca,” the airline said in a statement.

The jumbo jet will be used for four weekends over July and August, it added, Europe’s key summer travel season.

Mallorca is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Germans and is sometimes affectionately referred to as Germany’s “17th state”.

Before the pandemic, around five million German tourists visited the island
each year.

READ ALSO: ‘Germans are coming back’: Spaniards sceptical over return of tourists

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