The Lufthansa Group has too much capacity because of the coronavirus epidemic. Some 50 planes cannot be filled currently. The group mulls other cost cutting measures as well.
Due to the coronavirus epidemic, Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and Swiss are no longer flying to China and have reduced their frequencies to Hong Kong and Italy. The situation is worsened by the fact that events are being cancelled elsewhere and many people are no longer willing to take a plane for fear of infection.
As a result Lufthansa Group’s aircraft are emptier. A new figure published by the company on Wednesday (4 March) shows how dramatic the consequences are. «In total, the Group’s airlines are expected to keep up to 150 aircraft on the ground in the coming weeks – 25 of which will be long-haul aircraft», according to an internal memo seen by aeroTELEGRAPH. The Group has so far only publicly mentioned up to 23 unused long-haul jets.
Not enough passengers
A Lufthansa spokesman confirmed the figures to aeroTELEGRAPH. Another reason for the high number is the fact that the Group has to reduce its short-haul capacity by up to 25 percent because of a lack of transfer passengers and fewer people flying in general.
The spokesman was unable to say how much capacity is being lost by each individual airline in the group. The Lufthansa Group includes Lufthansa itself, Lufthansa Citylinie, Lufthansa Cargo, Eurowings, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines. In total, the company operates more than 750 aircraft.
More cost cutting measures
The 150 aircraft are not concerning specific aircraft, but rather an average calculated capacity. So there are not actually 150 jets on the ground all the time. Lufthansa tries to carry out maintenance work during this time in order to fill the time when planes are not used.
The large numbers show how much the coronavirus dampens the desire to travel, even if the destination is not an area of risk. In its internal memorandum, the Group also announces “further cost-cutting measures in personnel, material costs and project budgets”. The extent to which all this will affect earnings is not yet foreseeable, the company continues.