Lufthansa LHAG.DE does not expect its global airline operations to return to normal until 2023 after staff shortages and booming demand amid the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions forced it to cancel some flights, Die Welt newspaper has reported.
"Unfortunately, a short-term improvement now in the summer is hardly realistic," Lufthansa board member Detlef Kayser told Die Welt, adding the problem is global rather than exclusive to Germany and the only way out is to reduce the number of flights.
Lufthansa has announced plans to scrap around 3,000 flights, or some 15% of its capacity, at its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich this summer.
The German flag carrier is trying to ensure vacation routes are affected as little as possible, opting to cancel instead short- and medium-haul flights with many alternative travel options, Kayser told Die Welt.
Lufthansa CEO Apologises For Summer Travel Chaos
The above news was followed by news that Lufthansa LHAG.DE chief executive Carsten Spohr apologised to its employees and customers on Tuesday 28 June for travel chaos caused by labour shortages as demand has soared during the summer amid the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.
Airlines around the world had slashed jobs and other costs during the coronavirus pandemic, which grounded most flights, and found themselves in a quandary as demand returned.
"We certainly made mistakes while saving our company and more than 100,000 jobs over the past two years," Spohr said in a letter to staff seen by Reuters.
"Did we go too far in cutting costs here and there, under the pressure of the more than 10 billion euros ($10.6 billion) in pandemic-related losses? Certainly, that too," he added.
The company is recruiting new staff, including thousands of employees in Europe, but the efforts will only bear fruit in winter, Spohr said.
On Monday 27 June, the German flag carrier said that it would also fly the double-decker Airbus A380 again from summer 2023, joining other carriers in announcing a comeback for the superjumbo amid soaring demand and delays in aircraft orders.
Lufthansa's Swiss Unit To Cut 2% Of Flights Between August And October
All of the above news was followed by news that Deutsche Lufthansa's LHAG.DE Swiss business said on Tuesday 28 June that it would cut approximately 2% of its flights scheduled between August and October because of labour shortages, strikes and rising COVID-19 infections.
Swiss International said in a statement that it was "helping to ease the present pressures on both its own flight schedules and the Swiss system as a whole. This will minimize the risk of short-notice cancellations or schedule modifications."
Destinations would remain reachable from Switzerland but frequencies would be cut, it added.
Airlines around the world, which slashed jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, are struggling to ramp up operations as demand returns.
Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr earlier apologised to employees and customers for travel chaos caused by labour shortages amid soaring demand during the summer.