Lufthansa shuts Germanwings

Lufthansa has axed its Germanwings low-cost arm.


Lufthansa has announced it will shut its Germanwings low-cost airline as part of a broader overhaul reducing operations across the board due to the coronavirus.


The group, which also owns the Austrian Airlines, Swiss and Eurowings brands, said it would de-commission more than 40 aircraft.


“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,” Lufthansa’s executive board said in a statement.


The company has already furloughed almost 90,000 workers and scrapped its dividend.


Global airlines group IATA said it expects more than 25 million jobs in aviation and related industries are at risk.


With 700 out of Lufthansa’s 763 aircraft currently grounded, the carrier is in daily talks with the German government about its rapidly diminishing liquidity.


The crisis is, however, allowing Lufthansa to accelerate plans to dump older aircraft which will allow the airline to better prepare for rebuilding the fleet with more fuel-efficient aircraft when demand comes back.


The cuts include permanently decommissioning six super-jumbo Airbus A380s, seven long-haul A340-600s, and five Boeing 747-400s. For short haul operations, 11 Airbus A320s will also be taken out of service.