Coronavirus forces Lufthansa to take down more flights

Lufthansa plane on taxiway

Deutsche Lufthansa AG is moving rapidly to reduce costs and preserve cash flow as the coronavirus outbreak widens to more countries. 

Three days after announcing a series of expense reductions, Lufthansa on Friday said group companies would reduce short-haul operations by up to 25% in the coming weeks, reduce long-haul flight schedules and park 23 long-haul aircraft (up from 13 already sidelined). The company said it is also contemplating whether to reduce working hours in certain areas.

As previously reported, Lufthansa has instituted a hiring freeze, offered reduced work hours on a voluntary basis, and scaled back training for new employees.  

Earlier today, United Airlines suspended many flights to Japan, Singapore and South Korea as the economic threat of the coronavirus extends beyond China. International airlines have virtually eliminated flights to mainland China in the past month, but are now being forced to pare capacity elsewhere in Asia because people are afraid of traveling.

(Read more about United, Hawaiian and Delta airlines’ schedule adjustments and how that’s drying up airfreight capacity in “United Airlines slashes Asia flights as coronavirus spreads,” which posted earlier today.)

There are more than 80,000 confirmed cases and more than 2,800 deaths so far associated with the flu-like disease.