Lufthansa to cancel up to 25% of flights due to virus

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German airline Lufthansa on Friday announced that it expects to reduce its flights by up to 25 percent in the coming weeks due to the increasing spread of the new coronavirus.

Due to the "accelerated spread of the coronavirus" the company said it would have to cut the numbers of its short- and medium-haul flights by up to a quarter and ground 23 of its long-haul planes.

Lufthansa, like other carriers has been hit by the which is deterring travellers and hitting the industry's bottom line.

On Wednesday Lufthansa said it would freeze new hires and use unpaid leave and additional short-time work to cut costs to help cushion the economic impact of the novel coronavirus

Last month German airline giant Lufthansa said it would prolong its suspension of flights to the Chinese mainland until March 28 over the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

Lufthansa's plummeted by close to 21 percent on the Frankfurt stock exchange this week as investors panicked over the effects of the virus.

The International Civil Aviation Organization has said that the virus outbreak could mean a $4-5 billion drop in worldwide airline revenue.

Worldwide the virus has hit over 83,000 people in 56 countries and territories.

Over 2,800 people have died.

© 2020 AFP

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