Lufthansa, the flag carrier and largest airline of Germany, has decided to cancel some 33,000 flights this winter (10% of its program) following the Omicron variant and the new restrictions created in several countries.
According to the details, Lufthansa Group has said that it will be forced to fly the equivalent of 18,000 empty planes during the winter season in order to keep its valuable airport slots. The German airline says it will be forced to operate thousands of flights with virtually no passengers, otherwise the company will lose take-off and landing rights.
Speaking to Frankfurter Allgemeiner Sonntagszeitung, the airline Group CEO Carsten Spohr commented, “We will have to carry out 18,000 extra, unnecessary flights, just to secure our take-off and landing rights.”
“From mid-January to February, however, we are actually seeing a sharp drop in bookings. We therefore have to cancel 33,000 flights or around 10 percent in the group in the winter flight schedule,” he added.
As airlines around the world are forced to cancel thousands of flights due to the rise of the Omicron variant, others must make journeys… empty. This is exactly what’s happening with The Lufthansa Group! Airline companies are struggling with almost empty planes due to the coronavirus, but still have to let these ghost flights continue.
The European Union (EU) requires airlines to use 80 percent of their so-called slots at airports. If they don’t, they could lose their take-off and landing rights. At the start of the pandemic, many airlines operated ghost flights to avoid losing their slots. The EU then decided to suspend the rules. However, last spring the obligation to carry out a minimum number of flights came into force again.
It is to be noted that according to European regulations, airlines must operate 80% of their scheduled flights, otherwise they will lose landing rights. Some airlines have wasted thousands of litres of fuel by running empty flights within Europe.
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