With various countries like China and India resuming their aviation markets, several other airlines and geographies have also chalked down their plans to restart operations soon. Lufthansa Airlines has confirmed that it shall resume flights to twenty destinations by mid-June as the carrier attempts to bounce back after the coronavirus lock down. For now, Lufthansa has confirmed that these destinations include chief vacation spots like Crete, Faro, Mallorca, Rhodes, Venice, Malaga and Ibiza. Other destinations shall be announced by end of this week.
Furthermore, the airline has also stated that all the flights shall depart from the their main hub in Frankfurt. This news comes just two weeks after Lufthansa announced their plans to resume operations to Los Angeles, Toronto and Mumbai earlier this month.
Currently, Lufthansa has grounded about 95% of its fleet and has also shut down its budget subsidiary, Germanwings. To allow the airline to smoothly transition through the ongoing cataclysm, Lufthansa is also in talks with the German government for a potential €9bn ($9.8bn) bailout, which shall include the German government taking a 20% stake in the airline group. Lufthansa shall have to repay this loan by 2023, according to reports. However, this is not a firm commitment by the airline. German Economy Minister, Peter Altmaier, said that Lufthansa would have to repay the loan as soon as it turned a profit again. He further stated:
‘This can take a few years. No one knows in advance.’
The fact that various airlines and countries have already restarted operations or are planning to do so, is indeed a good one. Various airlines were hanging by a thread amidst the aviation lock down and as air travel now gradually gets back to normal, it shall mean many jobs in aviation shall also be secured. Once the airlines are back in business, it also boosts business for manufacturers and players involved in their supply chain. Thus, as airlines gradually restart, we can say that aviation industry, as a whole, may be getting up on its feet.
What are your thoughts on airlines gradually starting operations? How long will it take for the industry as a whole to shape up into what it was before the crisis?