The Lufthansa Group’s board has approved the second phase of restructuring, which is scheduled to run until December 2023, according to a press release.

The first phase launched in early April saw the decision to reduce the fleet by 100 aircraft, and not to resume the flight operations of Germanwings. The second phase includes the reduction of sub-fleets, and the implementation of bundling of flight operations, including in the long- and short-haul leisure business, at both the Frankfurt and Munich hubs. In Lufthansa alone, 22 aircraft have already been phased out – six Airbus A380s, 11 Airbus A320s and five Boeing 747-400s.

A spokesperson told Travel News:Before the coronavirus crisis we already started focusing more on touristic destinations and after the crisis, demand here will grow more strongly than for business travel. Since last year, Eurowings long-haul flights to tourist destinations have been successfully operated under the commercial responsibility of Lufthansa from Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf. The existing fragmented operations currently comprise four Air Operator Certificates (AOCs), which Lufthansa will eventually bundle into one new AOC.  The implementation of a new AOC will significantly reduce the complexity for the development of long-haul tourism, and thus create the basis for one touristic-focused operation.”

Other measures include the reduction of the executive board and management bodies of the subsidiaries; the reduction of government loans and equity participations; 20% reduction in the number of leadership positions in the group; the reduction of 1 000 group administrative positions and the acceleration of the transformation of Lufthansa airline into a separate corporate entity.

On the South Africa route, the spokesperson said the group currently had no indication of when the travel ban imposed by the South African government would be withdrawn. “In order to avoid very short-term changes that could affect our customers, Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines are suspending their originally planned scheduled services between Frankfurt and Johannesburg and between Zurich and Johannesburg, probably until September 2020.” All passengers affected by this cancellation will be informed accordingly.

From Friday, July 17, Lufthansa will operate a repatriation flight from Johannesburg and Frankfurt every 14 days using a Boeing 747, the group informed Travel News. Additional repatriation flights, also by SWISS, are being considered but have not yet been confirmed. “The Lufthansa Group remains committed to the South African market and we look forward to offering our services to Johannesburg and Cape Town as soon as the travel ban has been lifted.”