Published on April 10th, 2020 | by Alan Dwyer0
Lufthansa to close Germanwings as part of restructuring.
The Lufthansa Group has announced plans to downsize its fleet, as part of a restructuring package forced on it by the Coronavirus crisis and the low-cost subsidiary Germanwings will be closed down. The Lufthansa group, which also owns the Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Swiss and Eurowings, said the Coronavirus had forced it to accelerate radical restructuring steps.
As a result of these decisions, Germanwings will be closed down and the fleet will either be returned to lessors or absorbed into the Eurowings fleet. The fate of Germanwings has hung in the balance as the low-cost sector came under pressure, and after a suicidal pilot deliberately flew a jet into a mountainside in France back in 2015, killing all 150 people on board. All options resulting from this are to be discussed with the respective unions,
In the past month as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the Lufthansa Group have grounded 700 of the 763 aircraft in the fleet across its brands, As a result it will permanently retire several aircraft, particularly from the Lufthansa fleet. Six A380s, seven A340-600s and five B747-400s will be decommissioned, and a further 11 A320s will be removed from short-haul operations.
A spokesperson for the Lufthansa group said “it will take several months until the global travel restrictions are completely lifted and years until the worldwide demand for air travel returns to pre-crisis levels. The decision to phase out seven A340-600s and five Boeing 747-400s was taken based on the environmental as well as economic disadvantages of these aircraft type”.
Austrian Airlines have currently suspended all schedules flights until 3rd May at the earliest, with Brussels Airlines suspended flights until 15th May. Lufthansa will continue with a basic schedule but will fly cargo on these routes with minimal passenger numbers. Swiss will also continue a skeleton service and will also operate some flights to repatriate Swiss nationals from around the world.