Lufthansa Closes Germanwings In Restructuring, Says Aviation Won't Recover For Years

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Blaming significant decline in air travel that it expects to last for some time, Lufthansa Group has announced a sweeping restructuring that downsizes its fleet across several subsidiaries, and shutters its LCC Germanwings. 

In a news release, Lufthansa says it does not expect the aviation industry to return to pre-coronavirus crisis levels very quickly. 

"According to [this] assessment, 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," it said. 

The restructuring will reduce Lufthansa's capacity at its hubs in FRA and MUC.

At Lufthansa, six Airbus A380s, seven A340-600s and five Boeing 747-400s will be permanently decommissioned, and 11 Airbus A320s will be withdrawn from short-haul operations.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 the A340-600s and Boeing 747-400s was taken based on "the environmental as well as economic disadvantages of these aircraft types," said Lufthansa.

Furthermore, Lufthansa Cityline will 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 by phasing out 10 Airbus A320s and the carrier's long-haul business will also be reduced. In addition, the plan to bundle the flight operations of Eurowings, which was announced before the crisis, is being implemented more quickly. 

The fate of Germanwings has been uncertain since 2015.

“Germanwings flight operations will be discontinued. All options resulting from this are to be discussed with the respective unions,” Lufthansa said.

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-outs of older aircraft," said Lufthansa.

In addition, the Lufthansa Group airlines have already terminated almost all wet lease agreements with other airlines.   

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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