Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) is cutting 10% of its winter flight plan after the latest COVID-19 wave and the emergence of the Omicron variant hit bookings.  

“From mid-January to February we are seeing a sharp downturn in bookings,” chief executive Carsten Spohr was quoted as saying in an interview with German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. “For the winter flight plan, we have therefore cut 33,000 flights across the group, or around 10%.” 

Spohr said the Lufthansa Group, which also comprises Austrian, Swiss, Brussels and Eurowings, is being hit by COVID-19 waves in the home markets of its carriers - namely Germany, Austrian, Belgium, and Switzerland.   

Spohr also told the paper that the group would have canceled even more flights in January due to the weak demand if it didn’t have to keep them operational to maintain its take-off and landing slots under EU rules.  

The comments come after low-cost rival Ryanair announced it was cutting capacity by one-third in January after the latest COVID-19 travel restrictions hit demand. Ryanair said it had not yet decided on cutbacks for February and March.  

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Europe’s largest low-cost airline, Ryanair, cuts flying plans and says its losses will be bigger than expected due to Omicron