German mega carrier, Lufthansa on Wednesday said it would cancel 23,000 flights across the group as the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis worsens prompting more airlines to suspend flights across various destinations.
The 23,000 flights represent a 50-percent reduction in the operation of the carrier.
Daily Trust reports that many airlines have reduced flights globally as the world responds to the ravaging COVID-9 pandemic.
Turkish Airlines just few days ago announced suspension of flights to Nigeria and several destinations around the world.
Lufthansa in a statement posted on its Twitter handle @LufthansaNews said that “due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the spread of the virus,” it would cut 23,000 flights between March 29 and April 24th, adding that more are “expected in the coming weeks”.
The Frankfurt-based group, whose subsidiaries include Eurowings, Austrian Airlines and Swiss, has seen “drastic declines in bookings and numerous flight cancellations”.
The group, however, said “capacity adjustments mainly affect Europe, Asia and the Middle East.”
It assured that it would keep serving all destinations with at least one airline from its hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels.
The group is also looking into temporarily grounding “the entire Airbus A380 fleet” as the bookings continue to decline.
It asked passengers to check their flight status on the Lufthansa website before travelling.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) had in its analysis of the financial impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency estimated that airlines would lose $63 billion (in a scenario where COVID-19 is contained in current markets with over 100 cases as of 2 March) and $113 billion (in a scenario with a broader spreading of COVID-19). No estimates are yet available for the impact on cargo operations.
IATA’s previous analysis (issued on 20 February 2020) put lost revenues at $29.3 billion based on a scenario that would see the impact of COVID-19 largely confined to markets associated with China.
Since that time, the virus has spread to over 80 countries and forward bookings have been severely impacted on routes beyond China.