Lufthansa to double active fleet from June, 160 aircraft for 106 cities

European airline giant Lufthansa said Friday it will fly twice as many aircraft in June as in recent weeks and return to some European destinations, but the flight plan remains a shadow of pre-coronavirus operations.

Spots beloved of holidaymakers like Spanish island Mallorca, Crete and German North Sea retreat Sylt will return to the timetable, with 160 aircraft aloft bearing Lufthansa’s crane or the logos of subsidiaries Swiss and Eurowings.

More details of the 106 planned destinations will be published next week, Lufthansa said.

But the vast majority of the group’s roughly 760 planes will remain grounded as restrictions on travel and tourist essentials like hotels and restaurants ease only slowly around the continent.

“We sense a great desire and longing among people to travel again. Hotels and restaurants are slowly opening, and visits to friends and family are in some cases being allowed again. With all due caution, we are now making it possible for people to catch up and experience what they had to do without for a long time,” board member Harry Hohmeister was quoted in a statement, as saying.

“It goes without saying that the safety and health of our guests and employees are of the highest priority.”

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Lufthansa was operating four weekly flights from Frankfurt to Maldives capital Male. It is yet unclear if flights to Male will resume in June.

Lufthansa advised passengers to take the current entry and quarantine regulations of the respective destinations into account when planning their trip.

Added preventive measures will also be taken, with catering services on board to remain restricted and passengers asked to wear a face mask.

Details of the “June flight schedule” were released hours after the Frankfurt-headquartered group said it was in talks for the German government to buy shares and offer a loan to keep it afloat through the coronavirus crisis.

Berlin could end up owning around 25 per cent of Lufthansa, although politicians are still wrangling over the details.

Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told tabloid-style daily Bild Thursday that Lufthansa was part of Germany’s “family silver” and that Berlin aimed to avoid a “fire sale” of valuable firms.

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