Airlines Lufthansa shutters subsidiary airline Germanwings

The Lufthansa Group has announced, that subsidiary airline Germanwings will ultimately be shut down as consequence of the Coronavirus-crisis.

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In a statement regarding a new restructuring package Lufthansa Group mentioned, that low-cost subsidiary airline Germanwings will be closed immediately. The airline was originally founded in 1997 as division of Eurowings and between 2002 and yesterday, Germanwings was a separate company.

Lufthansa wrote in a statement: "The implementation of Eurowings objective of bundling flight operations into only one unit, which was defined before the crisis, will now be accelerated. Germanwings flight operations will be discontinued. All options resulting from this are to be discussed with the respective unions."

After the travel demand collapsed due to the spread of COVID-19, Lufthansa needed to make decisions. Over the past years, the airline group tried to integrate Germanwings into Eurowings as good as possible by operating most of the Germanwings flights under Eurowings´ flags. A part of the employees were still salaried at Germanwings.

Lufthansa even decided to give all their Germanwings aircraft the Eurowings livery. In the past year, Germanwings mainly operated short-haul flights for Eurowings but still operated with a fleet of 15 Airbus A320 Family aircraft.

Simply, the project Germanwings was a thorn in the flesh for Lufthansa. The old cost structures made the project unprofitable and further cost reduction measures would not have saved the airline. Therefore, Lufthansa now made the decision to shutter the low-cost carrier.

Lufthansa´s new-old low-cost carrier Eurowings will operate less flights, too. Especially the long-haul business will see heavy frequency reductions. Additionally, 10 Eurowings Airbus A320s are planned to be phased out very soon.

In the statement, Lufthansa also said that several aircraft from the mainline airline will be temporarily grounded. Six A380 were already scheduled for sale to Airbus in 2022, stated the company. Now, seven A340-600s and five Boeing 747-400s will be phased out during the Coronavirus. Currently, the North-West runway at Frankfurt is fully parked with grounded Lufthansa aircraft.

Lufthansa Cityline will withdraw three of its Airbus 340-300 long-haul aircraft from service. The aircraft have been operating oversea-flights from the mainline´s hub at Frankfurt. How the airline group will recover from this heavy crisis is unknown, but it expects the travel demand to be significantly lower, even after COVID-19.

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