At Lufthansa, most of the fleet will be grounded longer than expected. Previously it was said that a return flight plan was valid until April 19 to bring (predominantly) Germans home from abroad, the emergency operation will now last longer. At least until May 3, as Lufthansa announced on Thursday in Frankfurt. The reason is continued travel restrictions in the wake of the Corona crisis.
Lufthansa cancels flights until May 3
The result: all remaining flights from the original flight plan between April 25 and May 3 will be canceled. Flights scheduled until April 24 were canceled earlier. The affected passengers will receive the corresponding notification from Lufthansa in the next few days.
According to its own information, Lufthansa will only offer a basic service until May 3. In addition to the 18 weekly long-distance connections, about 50 daily connections to the most important cities in Germany and Europe are possible from the hubs of Frankfurt and Munich.
Lufthansa currently only flies intercontinentally three times a week to Newark (New York) and Chicago (both USA), Montreal (Canada), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Bangkok (Thailand) and Tokyo (Japan). Flights to Johannesburg (South Africa) must be canceled by at least April 16 due to official requirements.
What about my Lufthansa ticket?
Passengers whose flights have been canceled or who cannot make their flight can claim a refund or keep their existing reservation without committing to a new flight date. The ticket and the value of the ticket are preserved and can be converted into a coupon for a new reservation with a departure date up to and including April 30, 2021. Customers who choose a new travel date for the end of 2020 will receive an additional discount of 50 euros on each booking change.
The idea behind this approach: Lufthansa tries to keep the money in its own coffers. Because consumers currently hardly make new reservations. The promised coupons are intended to protect reservations that have already been made from being canceled. However, from a purely legal point of view, it is possible to claim the full amount of money for flights canceled by Lufthansa. However, a new law will come into force in the near future that temporarily suspends the recovery of the money.
Swiss and Eurowings fly much less
Other Lufthansa Group airlines (if they do so) are only active in emergency operations. While flight operations on Austrian Airlines are still completely suspended, Swiss only flies to select European cities and from Zurich and Geneva only three times a week on the long-haul route to Newark (USA).
Eurowings also operates solely on the basis of a basic service. From Germany, Eurowings planes only take off at Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne / Bonn and Stuttgart airports. Compared to the original plans, only about 10 percent of capacities are served.
Düsseldorf Airport is at the center of Eurowings core offering. From here it is possible to fly to Hamburg and Berlin up to nine times a week. There are up to six times a week to Vienna, Zurich and London and up to two times a week to Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Rome, Milan, Lisbon and Thessaloniki.
From Hamburg and Cologne / Bonn only German domestic connections are offered, from Stuttgart there are not only flights to Hamburg and Berlin, but also to Zagreb up to twice a week.
Eurowings secures basic supply in Germany: https://t.co/Elwl4nLnX3 #WingsForGermany pic.twitter.com/C63EuSdFPW
– Eurowings (@eurowings) March 31, 2020
Frankfurt airport closes the entire terminal
Meanwhile, Frankfurt Airport is also cracking down on it. Due to the low number of passengers as a result of the corona crisis, the airport operators have decided to concentrate all handling processes at the Terminal 1 airport.
As of April 7, Terminal 2, which is currently only operated in Area E, will no longer be used for passenger handling until further notice. The multi-story car park in Terminal 2 will also be temporarily unavailable for passengers.
As of April 7, all check-in processes will be grouped together in Terminal 1, Hall B. From here, after the security check, passengers can reach the areas that are still in operation at gates A and B.
Generally, only Lufthansa aircraft and Star Alliance partner airlines take off there. The Frankfurt Airport expects that after return flights expire, only 5 percent of the originally planned volume will be processed.