- Lufthansa Group said the war in Ukraine is restricting European airspace and causing flight delays.
- “Massive bottlenecks” add to staff shortages and resource challenges, executives said.
- Many airlines suspended or diverted flights to Russia and Ukraine in the wake of the invasion.
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The war in Ukraine is exacerbating the summer plane chaos, leading to “massive bottlenecks” as airlines had to reroute routes to avoid the war zone, according to German airline Lufthansa.
In a open letter to customers, Lufthansa Group’s Executive Board apologized for the wave of flight cancellations. It said like other airlines it was affected by staff shortages and lack of resources as global travel demand returns after the pandemic. In addition, “the ongoing war in Ukraine severely restricts accessible airspace in Europe,” the leaders said.
“This leads to massive bottlenecks in the air and thus, unfortunately, to further flight delays,” the leaders said.
Airlines began to reconsider their travel plans before the invasion, redirect flights or suspend them indefinitely over potential security issues and insurance issues whose war broke out. Lufthansa Group suspended all flights to Kiev and Odessaon February 20th.
In the wake of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Russia closed its airspace to airlines from 36 countries.
All Lufthansa and Lufthansa Group flights to Ukraine and Russia are currently suspended until July 31, according to the company’s website. It continues to monitor the situation.
This has added hours to some flightss as airlines need to be creative to avoid the countries.
According to the website for live tracking of aircraft FlightAware there were no commercial flights crossing Ukrainian airspace Tuesday morning.
The restructuring has added what is already a turbulent period for the aviation industry as it seeks to recover from the disruption of the pandemic.
In June group, which owns airlines, including Lufthansa, Eurowings, Swiss and Brussels airlines, announced plans to cancel 900 Lufthansa and GermanWings flights in July – around 5% of the weekend schedule – due to staff shortages.
The group has canceled a total of 3,100 flights according to Bloomberg. Leaders said the problem is unlikely to improve in the short term.
“Too many employees and resources are unavailable, not only in our infrastructure partners, but also in some of our own areas,” the letter said.
Lufthansa did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
In a presentation made in conjunction with its 2021 results, the Lufthansa Group said it lost nearly a quarter of its workforce between 2020 and 2021. This included a 31% reduction in ground staff.
The group expects to have a “much more reliable air transport system worldwide by 2023,” the letter said.
Lufthansa says the Ukraine war is contributing to flight delays because it is restricting European airspace
Source link Lufthansa says the Ukraine war is contributing to flight delays because it is restricting European airspace