Flight disruptions to continue until 2023 amid Covid-19, according to Lufthansa

German airline cuts more than 3,000 flights in summer due to staff shortages

Lufthansa cancelled hundreds of flights after a wave of coronavirus infections worsened staffing shortages, adding to Europe’s travel chaos as the crucial summer vacation period gets under way. Bloomberg
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Deutsche Lufthansa doesn’t expect flight operations to return to normal until next year, after cutting 3,100 flights from its summer schedule due to staff shortages.

“Unfortunately, we will hardly be able to realistically achieve a short-term improvement now in the summer,” Lufthansa board member Detlef Kayser said in an interview with Die Welt. The only option, for now, is to reduce the number of flights, he said.

“Overall, we expect the situation to return to normal in 2023,” the newspaper quoted Mr Kayser as saying.

Germany’s flagship airline on Friday announced it will scrap 2,200 domestic and European routes in July and August, on top of 900 cancellations unveiled earlier this month. That’s about 4 per cent of the carrier’s capacity during that period, according to a spokesperson.

Travel demand has rebounded dramatically in Europe with the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, leaving some airlines struggling to cope and subjecting passengers to waiting in line for hours and cancellations. Labour shortages are worsening as a new pandemic outbreak prompts more staffers to call in sick.

Updated: June 26, 2022, 1:44 AM
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