Airlines Suspend Flights To Israel

An Israeli AH-64 Apache attack helicopter releases flares near Sderot, in southern Israel on the border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, on May 13, 2021. (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP)

 

Israel’s escalating conflict with the Palestinians saw several airlines on Thursday suspend services to the Jewish state amid global alarm and diplomatic efforts to halt the spiralling violence.

– KLM –

Dutch airline KLM has halted flights to Israel for the time being, Dutch public broadcaster NOS said. A flight from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport that was postponed earlier in the week due to the violence has been cancelled for good and KLM is deciding whether a flight due on Sunday can go ahead, NOS said.

– BA, Virgin

British Airways cancelled its service to and from Tel Aviv on Thursday and Virgin Atlantic also did the same for Thursday and Friday.

Both airlines said they are monitoring the situation closely.

– Lufthansa –

Germany’s flag carrier cancelled flights for Thursday and Friday, adding: “Lufthansa expects to resume its flight operations to Israel beginning Saturday, May 15.”

– Aeroflot –

Aeroflot cancelled its Moscow-Tel Aviv flight for Friday but did not specify if others would be cancelled in the coming days.

– Iberia –

The Spanish airline cancelled its flight Madrid to Tel Aviv for Thursday and Friday-Saturday’s return leg.

An Iberia spokeswoman told AFP: “We will take further decisions based on the evolution of the situation.”

– US airlines –

United, which operates 18 flight weekly to Israel, said it was suspending operations.

Delta and American Airlines also confirmed they have suspended services between New York and Tel Aviv.

– LOT –

The Polish airline said it had “suspended flights to Israel for the moment”. Spokesman Krzysztof Moczulski added: “I suppose that we will not be flying there in the coming days”.

AFP

International Flights: FG Lifts Ban On Lufthansa, Air France And KLM

File photo of an Airbus A-320 of the Lufthansa airline PHOTO: INA FASSBENDER / AFP

 

The Lufthansa, Air France/KLM have been given the approval by the Federal Government to resume operations into Nigeria.

This was announced by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, in a tweet on Tuesday.

The Minister in the tweet also hinted at the possible reopening of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Port Harcourt International Airport, and Enugu Airport before the end of the year.

He added that Qatar Airways has been granted approval to resume flights to Abuja.

“We are working with Ministry of Health, CACOVID & The PTF to open Kano, Port Harcourt & possibly Enugu airports before the end of the year. Also Lufthansa, Air France/KLM have been given go-ahead to resume. Qatar Airways is approved to start Abuja. Thank you for your patience,” the Tweet read.

 

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 had earlier in September restricted 10 airlines from operating in the country when international flight resumed.

At the time, Sirika said Air France and KLM airlines were not granted approval for flight operations because “tourist visa holders are not allowed entry” in the airlines’ originating countries.

Pandemic-Hit Lufthansa Says 22,000 Jobs To Go

lufthansa
(FILES) This file photo taken on April 28, 2020 shows a technician of the German airline Lufthansa working at a parked plane at the “Franz-Josef-Strauss” airport in Munich, southern Germany. German airline Lufthansa is to cut 22,000 jobs due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, a spokesman said on June 11, 2020.

 

German airline Lufthansa said Thursday that it would have to slash 22,000 full-time jobs as it predicts a muted recovery in demand for travel following the coronavirus pandemic.

“The recovery in demand in the air transport sector will be slow in the foreseeable future,” the airline said.

The group will operate about 100 less aircraft after the crisis, leading to “a total of 22,000 fewer full-time positions in the Lufthansa Group, half of them in Germany”.

The posts make up 16 percent of the Lufthansa Group’s total workforce of 135,000.

The airline said however that it would look at how it could use schemes for shorter work hours and other crisis arrangements to avoid outright redundancies.

Lufthansa, like its peers, has been brought to its knees by restrictions introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Around 700 of the group’s 763 aircraft were grounded at the peak of the lockdowns and it was forced to place 87,000 workers on government-backed shorter hours schemes.

Lufthansa’s supervisory board last week approved a nine-billion-euro bailout deal from the German government after the company posted a first-quarter net loss of 2.1 billion euros ($2.3 billion).

The bailout will see the German government take a 20-percent stake in the group, with an option on a further five percent plus one share to block hostile takeovers.

The airline has also lost its place on Frankfurt’s Dax 30 index after its share price collapsed.

“Without a significant reduction in personnel costs during the crisis, we will miss the opportunity of a better restart from the crisis and risk the Lufthansa Group emerging from the crisis significantly weakened,” said Michael Niggemann, who heads the airline’s human resources and legal affairs departments.

AFP

Pandemic-hit Lufthansa Says 22,000 Jobs Will Be Lost

lufthansa
(FILES) This file photo taken on April 28, 2020 shows a technician of the German airline Lufthansa working at a parked plane at the “Franz-Josef-Strauss” airport in Munich, southern Germany. German airline Lufthansa is to cut 22,000 jobs due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, a spokesman said on June 11, 2020.

 

German airline Lufthansa said Thursday that it would have to slash 22,000 full-time jobs as it predicts a muted recovery in demand for travel following the coronavirus pandemic.

“The recovery in demand in the air transport sector will be slow in the foreseeable future,” the airline said.

The group will operate about 100 less aircraft after the crisis, leading to “a total of 22,000 fewer full-time positions in the Lufthansa Group, half of them in Germany”.

The posts make up 16 percent of the Lufthansa Group’s total workforce of 135,000.

The airline said however that it would look at how it could use schemes for shorter work hours and other crisis arrangements to avoid outright redundancies.

Lufthansa, like its peers, has been brought to its knees by restrictions introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Around 700 of the group’s 763 aircraft were grounded at the peak of the lockdowns and it was forced to place 87,000 workers on government-backed shorter hours schemes.

Lufthansa’s supervisory board last week approved a nine-billion-euro bailout deal from the German government after the company posted a first-quarter net loss of 2.1 billion euros ($2.3 billion).

The bailout will see the German government take a 20-percent stake in the group, with an option on a further five percent plus one share to block hostile takeovers.

The airline has also lost its place on Frankfurt’s Dax 30 index after its share price collapsed.

“Without a significant reduction in personnel costs during the crisis, we will miss the opportunity of a better restart from the crisis and risk the Lufthansa Group emerging from the crisis significantly weakened,” said Michael Niggemann, who heads the airline’s human resources and legal affairs departments.

AFP

Coronavirus: Austrian Airlines To Suspend Flights From Thursday

An Austrian police van is pictured in the Mariahilfer street in Vienna, Austria on march 15, 2020. – Austria on March 15, 2020 banned gatherings of more than five people and told residents to go out only if necessary, in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus. Police would enforce new restrictions on public life, the government said, threatening fines for non-compliance. The tougher measures were decided at an extraordinary session of parliament, during which Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called on the population to self-isolate and limit contacts to “the people they live with”. HERBERT P. OCZERET / APA / AFP.

 

Austria Airlines, a subsidiary of the Lufthansa group, said Monday that it will suspend all of its regular flights from Thursday owing to a sharp drop in demand stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

Austria Airlines said that the suspension of flights would last until March 28 but that it would continue to operate flights to repatriate Austrians trapped abroad.

The carrier’s last regularly scheduled flight is due to arrive Thursday morning from Chicago, a statement said.

Last week, Lufthansa said it would cancel 23,000 flights across the group, a 50-percent reduction, as it tries to deal with the impact of the epidemic.

“Due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the spread of the virus,” Lufthansa said it would scrap 23,000 flights between March 29 and April 24, with more “expected in the coming weeks”.

AFP

Lufthansa To Cancel 23,000 Flights In April Over Coronavirus

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 24, 2019 an Airbus A-320 of the Lufthansa airline takes-offat the airport in Duesseldorf, western Germany.  INA FASSBENDER / AFP

 

German airline Lufthansa said Wednesday it would cancel 23,000 flights across the group, a 50-percent reduction, as it tries to deal with the fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

“Due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the spread of the virus,” Lufthansa said it would scrap 23,000 flights between March 29 and April 24, with more “expected in the coming weeks”.

Up to now, Lufthansa had detailed 7,100 cancellations up to the end of its winter flight plan on March 28.

Then on Friday the Frankfurt-based group, whose brands include Eurowings, Austrian Airlines and Swiss, reported “drastic declines in bookings and numerous flight cancellations”, saying it would slash capacity by 50 percent in the weeks ahead.

Shares in the group fell Wednesday, trading down 1.2 percent at 10.31 euros just after 2:00 pm (1300 GMT) against a roughly flat DAX blue-chip index.

Lufthansa’s subsidiary Brussels Airlines issued a statement saying it was halting all flights to and from Italy from Thursday to April 3 “due to the announcement made by the Italian government to implement further quarantine restrictions”.

Coronavirus disruption has cost Lufthansa around one-third of its share price since late February.

The group said Wednesday that its “capacity adjustments mainly affect Europe, Asia and the Middle East”, adding that it would aim to keep serving all destinations with at least one airline from its hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels.

Last week, the group said it would not fly routes to China and Iran until late April, while Israeli restrictions on non-resident arrivals from some EU countries prompted it to scrap flights there until March 28.

The group is also looking into temporarily taking “the entire Airbus A380 fleet” out of service in Frankfurt and Munich, amounting to 14 of the mammoth aircraft.

It asked passengers to check their flight status on the Lufthansa website before travelling.

Lufthansa has also instituted a hiring freeze, offered unpaid leave and is considering slashing workers’ hours “to avoid dismissals”.

The group is due to release its 2019 results on March 19 and will likely face questions over the expected financial impact of the epidemic.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently warned the cost in in lost revenue for the industry could be in the range of $63-$100 billion.

AFP

Plane Crash: Lufthansa Cancels Tehran Flights Until Jan 20

A file photo taken on February 18, 2019 shows parked planes at the Lufthansa terminal of the Franz-Josef-Strauss airport in Munich, southern Germany.  PHOTO: Christof STACHE / AFP

 

Lufthansa on Friday said it was canceling all flights to and from Tehran, Iran’s capital until January 20, following suggestions that Iran may have mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane earlier this week.

The German group, which also owns Austrian Airlines, said the flight ban was “due to the unclear security situation for the airspace around Tehran airport”.

All 176 people on board died when the Ukrainian International Airlines plane went down near Tehran on Wednesday, shortly after Iran launched missiles at US forces in Iraq over the killing of a top Iranian general.

American, British and Canadian officials say intelligence sources indicate Iran shot down the plane, perhaps unintentionally, but this has been denied by Tehran.

Several airlines had already announced they would avoid Iranian and Iraqi airspace as tensions in the region soared.

A Lufthansa flight between Frankfurt and Tehran on Thursday turned back an hour after takeoff because of security concerns.

Austrian Airlines meanwhile said late Thursday that its flight to Tehran that day was ordered to return to Vienna after a stopover in Sofia.

AFP

Lufthansa To Scrap 1,300 Flights Over Two-Day German Strike

courtesy: lufthansa.com

 

Lufthansa said Wednesday it was scrapping 1,300 flights as German cabin crew pressed ahead with a two-day strike, plunging passengers into travel chaos amid an escalating row over pay and conditions.

READ ALSO: Four Tourists Among Six Wounded In Jordan Stabbing – Security Official

“As a result of the strike, around 180,000 passengers will be affected by 1,300 flight cancellations,” the airline said in a statement after losing a court battle to halt the stoppage.

The 48-hour walkout is due to start at 2300 GMT.

 

Lufthansa To Cancel 800 Flights Over Strikes

FILE COPY The name of German airline Lufthansa is pictured on a model aeroplane at the company’s headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, where the airline is presenting its annual report. Photo Credit: Daniel Roland / AFP

 

German airline giant Lufthansa said it will cancel “more than 800” flights Tuesday as public-sector workers walk out on strike for more pay, hobbling major airports like Frankfurt.

“Lufthansa must cancel more than 800 of its planned 1,600 flights tomorrow, including 58 long-distance services, because of the strike. The cancellations affect around 90,000 passengers,” the group said in a statement Monday, adding that service would be back to normal Wednesday.

AFP

EU Approves Lufthansa Buyout Of Air Berlin Assets

German carrier Lufthansa clinched EU approval on Thursday for its scaled back bid to snap up assets of bankrupt Air Berlin, a European Union statement said.

Responding to signals that the EU would veto its initial plans, the German behemoth last week ditched its bid to buy Air Berlin’s Austrian unit Niki, focusing instead on the acquisition of the failed airline’s smaller LGW subsidiary.

“Our job is to make sure that mergers do not make European consumers worse off,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

“Lufthansa has put forward improved remedies that make sure the effects of its LGW acquisition on competition are limited,” she added.

Lufthansa also accepted to forgo some of Air Berlin’s prized Duesseldorf airport slots in order to win the greenlight from Brussels.

The more modest offer, which won the EU’s backing, will see Lufthansa acquire the operations of LGW, a regional carrier employing some 500 people.

That includes taking over the roughly 30 planes flown by LGW but leased from other companies, a source familiar with the bid has told AFP.

The European Commission, the EU’s anti-trust authority, earlier this month approved the purchase of Air Berlin’s operations at the German capital’s Tegel Airport by British low-cost carrier easyJet.

Under the deal, easyJet will spend some 40 million euros ($47 million) to enter into leases for up to 25 aircraft and take over slots in Berlin.

The fire sale began in August when Air Berlin suddenly lost a cash lifeline from main shareholder Etihad Airways after years of losses, triggering bankruptcy proceedings.

In the ensuing carve-up Germany’s second-biggest airline, it was Lufthansa’s attempt to claim the lion’s share of the assets that most worried competition authorities.

– ‘Tough but fair’ –

Lufthansa — which already owns low-cost Eurowings as well as Swiss, Austrian and Brussels Airlines — initially set its sights on scooping up 81 aircraft from Air Berlin’s 140-strong fleet, including all of Niki’s planes plus its valuable slots.

But fearful of the dominant position that could give Lufthansa on some routes, the Commission stated “deep competition concerns” about the Frankfurt-based carrier’s plans and the effect on ticket prices.

Lufthansa then announced last Wednesday that it was dropping its plan to buy Niki.

The shock move meant Niki lost the bridge financing that had kept it flying in anticipation of the Lufthansa acquisition, forcing it to file for insolvency.

Lufthansa is also eyeing a chunk of struggling Alitalia’s fleet, in the latest sign of consolidation in the industry.

The German group’s strategy of offering both low prices and high-end services has impressed investors, sending its share price past the 30-euro mark, more than double the level at the start of the year.

Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr was this month named “strategist of the year” by financial daily Handelsblatt, which described him as “tough but fair”.

AFP

Sinai Plane Crash Victims Flown Back To Russia

SinaiThe bodies of over 140 people who died in Saturday’s air crash in Egypt have been flown back to Russia.

All 224 people on the plane – most of them Russians – died when it came down over the northern Sinai Peninsula. So far 163 bodies have been found.

According to Russia’s emergency ministry, which organised the flight, identification will begin later on Monday at a crematorium in Saint Petersburg where remains of the victims were to be taken in a motorcade.

Family members have been providing DNA samples at a crisis centre set up close to the airport, now the site of an impromptu memorial where people are bringing flowers and cuddly toys to commemorate the victims, many of them children as young as 10 months old.

On Sunday, Russia observed a day of mourning after experiencing its worst air disaster.

As investigations continue into the cause of the crash, Russian air transport agency head, Aleksandr Neradko, says the airliner disintegrated at high altitude.

The Kogalymavia airbus A321 came down early on Saturday, shortly after leaving the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for the Russian city of St Petersburg.

Jihadists allied to the Islamic State (Is) in Sinai, claimed responsibility for the crash but Egypt’s Prime Minister dismissed claims by the Islamic State (ISIS), that it is responsible for the crash, saying a technical fault was most likely the cause.

 

Egypt Dismisses ISIS Russian Plane Crash Claims

Egypt Dismisses ISIS Russia Crash Claims Egypt’s Prime Minister has dismissed claims by the Islamic State (ISIS), that it is responsible for the crash of a Russian passenger plane in Sinai, saying a technical fault was most likely the cause.

An investigation has commenced into the cause of the crash in which all 224 people on board were killed.

Despite the Egyptian authority’s assurances, three airlines; Emirates, Air France and Lufthansa have decided not to fly over the Sinai Peninsula until more information is available.

Meanwhile, Russia is observing a day of mourning, following its worst aviation disaster.

Officials, however, said that the plane’s black boxes had been found and sent for analysis.

Egypt’s Civil Aviation Minister, Hossam Kamal, said that there had been no sign of any problems on board the flight, contradicting earlier reports that the pilot had asked to make an emergency landing.

An Egyptian official had previously said that before the plane lost contact with air traffic controllers, the pilot had said the aircraft was experiencing technical problems and he intended to try to land at the nearest airport.

Egypt’s Civilian Aviation Ministry said the plane had been at an altitude of 9,450m (31,000ft) when it disappeared.

Security experts, nonetheless, said that a plane flying at that altitude would be beyond the range of a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile (Manpad), which Sinai militants are known to possess.

However, German carrier, Lufthansa, said that  it would avoid flying over the Sinai Peninsula “as long as the cause for Saturday’s crash has not been clarified”.

On Saturday evening, Air France-KLM and Emirates said they were following suit.

British Airways and EasyJet said their routes were regularly reviewed, but that they had no plans to alter their routes to and from Sharm el-Sheikh.

The plane was carrying 217 passengers, including 25 children, Russian transport authorities said. There were seven crew members on board.

Egyptian officials had said 213 of the passengers were Russian and four were Ukrainian, but Russian officials said at least one of the victims was from Belarus.

The bodies of 163 victims have so far been recovered and taken to Cairo.

The Kogalymavia airbus-321 crashed early on Saturday shortly after leaving the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for the Russian city of St. Petersburg.