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FLIGHTS

Lufthansa to cancel a quarter of flights due to virus

German airline Lufthansa on Friday announced that it expects to reduce its flights by up to 25 percent in the coming weeks due to the increasing spread of the new coronavirus.

Lufthansa to cancel a quarter of flights due to virus
Luftansa planes waiting for clearance at Frankfurt airport. Photo: Boris Roessler/dpa
Due to the “accelerated spread of the coronavirus” the company said it would have to cut the numbers of its short- and medium-haul flights by up to a quarter and ground 23 of its long-haul planes.
   
Lufthansa, like other carriers has been hit by the virus which is deterring travellers  and hitting the industry's bottom line.     
 
On Wednesday Lufthansa said it would freeze new hires and use unpaid leave and additional short-time work to cut costs to help cushion the economic impact of the novel coronavirus
   
Last month German airline giant Lufthansa said it would prolong its suspension of flights to the Chinese mainland until March 28 over the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
   
Lufthansa's share price plummeted by close to 21 percent on the Frankfurt stock exchange this week as investors panicked over the effects of the virus.   
 
The International Civil Aviation Organization has said that the virus outbreak could mean a $4-5 billion drop in worldwide airline revenue. 
 
Worldwide the virus has hit over 83,000 people in 56 countries and territories.

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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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